Fiat’s Ultimate 500 Series: Abarth Fuoriserie [2013 Geneva Auto Show]
Fiat is doing an admirable job positioning its tiny 500—and its Abarth derivatives—as a serious competitor to BMW’s Mini. Underscoring this approach, the “Abarth Fuoriserie” program of bespoke models is placed outside of and well above of the regular lineup. There is the “New Heritage” line, which draws inspiration from sports and race cars of the past, and the “New Wave” line, designed to resemble contemporary supercars.
All Fuoriserie models are equipped with a turbocharged 1.4-liter four, enhanced to deliver a prodigious 177 horsepower. These angry midgets will be a huge surprise to a lot of bigger and more-powerful vehicles on the road, although their loud exhaust delivers unmistakable advance notice. The Fouriserie models are custom-built to the specific wishes of the customers, and it is possible to order a unique, one-of-a-kind vehicle. The program is available for the regular two-door model, or the convertible.
Representing “New Heritage,” Abarth will show the 695 Record and the 695 Scorpione; “New Wave” will be exemplified by the 695 Hype and the 695 Black Diamond. The 695 Record is painted in matte gray, with a hand-painted, checkered red-and-gray roof; the wheels are gray as well, with a red stripe. The interior is fitted with gray leather seats which feature read suede-look inserts and stitching.
The similarly themed 695 Scorpione is painted in black metallic, with matte-gray elements on the hood and roof; a striping pattern stretches from front to rear down the center of the vehicle. Inside, the Scorpione is styled similar to the Record, but the inserts are light gray instead of red.
The “New Wave” models are also full of character. The Black Diamond is finished in two tones—matte black on the lower parts of the body, matte gray above the beltline. The mirror caps are glossy, and the interior is executed in a classic, cream-colored leather.
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Most unusual of the four is the 695 Hype, painted matte gray below and matte olive above the beltline. While the three other concepts feature red brake calipers, this model is fitted with yellow ones, which mirror the yellow stripe that accentuates the beltline. Inside, it features gray leather and olive suede, with yellow embroidery.
Below these ultra-posh Fuoriserie models, Fiat/Abarth is showing the 695 Turismo and Competizione, powered by a 158-horsepower 1.4-liter four. And there are a number of performance enhancements now available for the entry-level Abarth 500 Custom. There is no word yet on a U.S.-market launch of these tempting performance goodies. But knowing that custom-personalized cars are a European specialty, we doubt they will be offered over here.
By Jens Meiners