On point for the worldwide audience of the 2017 Geneva Motor Show will be Abarth’s new 595 Pista (Italian for “track”), coming both as the small hatchback or equally small but more entertaining convertible with an electrically operated top.
As always, the Abarth brand is all about being hearty and feisty – packing the well known turbocharged 1.4-liter T-Jet engine which in this iteration has 160-hp (117-kW) and a maximum torque of 170 pound-feet (230 Newton-meters). It’s a purist car at heart, with the new Fiat 500 derivative on sale with a standard five-speed manual transmission. But there’s also an optional sequential transmission complete with shift paddles and there are also worthy mechanical upgrades – Koni rear suspension and a sporty exhaust system with quad tailpipes.
To grace its “Pista” nameplate the model has been fitted with the Abarth Telemetry system – the driver can load well known circuits from all over the world for detailed maps on the seven-inch Uconnect infotainment system. In addition, the system will offer real-time tips to lower the time on fast laps, much like in a video game. By the way, the very small hatchback will sprint to 62 mph (100 km/h) in 7.3 seconds and go on until a good 134 mph (216 km/h). Abarth has also fitted perforated and ventilated brake discs beneath the standard 17-inch alloys wrapped in 205/45 tires. Distinctive design elements will include different color front and rear bumper inserts and the brake calipers and side mirror caps painted black, red, or yellow. There’s also the mandatory “595 Pista” badge with anthracite titanium finish affixed to the door handles.