It was so much that I wanted to drive this Abarth 595 Competizione for a review! Is one of my favorite cars for its iconic character able to make me feel a little boy again. And here we are, in the middle of the Tuscan-Emilian Apennines on a cold autumn day. We arrive at the Suviana Lake just in time for the first rays of sunshine.
In the silence of this morning around this lake, the Record Monza exhaust’s backfires are echoing. A sound that announces lots of fun! It can not be otherwise on board this Abarth 595 Competizione. In this car that we are testing there’s even the Abarth D.A.M. , the self-locking differential that makes the car into the corners much more effective.
We stop at the edge of the Lake Suviana to admire it. In this Modena Yellow color with the black Supersport rims and the brake callipers it stands out. In my opinion it is the best possible combination, it brings out all the irreverent personality of this model. The Black package, which also inserts black stripes and mirrors, embellishes this contrast even more, emphasizing its sporty essence.
The interior is not far behind. As soon as the door is opened, the Sabelt shell seats in leather and alcantara with carbon fiber back stand out. The carbon fiber is also found in the dashboard, distinguishing this model from the other 500. The gear lever and the pedals are in aluminum and even the mats have a specific plot with logo 595.
Is all about details on this Abarth 595 Competizione: the steering wheel, which is also made of carbon fiber and alcantara, is wonderful, and holds very well indeed. On the dashboard we find a TFT display that gives us all the information combined with the turbo pressure gauge, also present on the previous version we have tested.
To complete finishing, the shelf with the Competizione logo. It’s time to get back on the road and see how this Abarth 595 Competizione behaves on the road, as we head towards another lake, Brasimone. Do I enjoy driving Abarth 595 Competizione? Yup! A lot! Always keep in mind to choose for the inclusion of the mechanical self-locking differential. The drive behaviour changes a lot. Corner after corner you will hear the front end “pull yourself in” in the direction of the corner compensating that understeering that was evident in the previous version with only electronic differential.
The brakes are stong and the balance is rigid. Speaking of balance, it must be said that Koni suspensions are much more effective on roughness than traditional ones, while maintaining a “flat” behaviour, mandatory for a car with a high center of gravity.
The engine is always the same, the 1.4 Turbo petrol which, in this 595 Competizione version, delivers 180hp. The turbo lag is present but is compensated by a good acceleration. The gearbox is in an easily accessible position and handles perfectly. And what about the sound? The Record Monza exhaust, famous among the fans, thanks to the Magneti Marelli technology, makes the driving experience even more exciting!
Moreover, while driving the most thrust, the Sabelt seats are perfect, helping to live that authentic “race experience” that every enthusiast Abarth seeks.
Arriving at Lake Brasimone we can stop again. What cons do I find on Abarth 595 Competizione?
Sabelt seats are sometimes difficult to adjust, often you have to open the door to reach the seat tilt knob. The 5-inch UConnect infotainment is technologically outdated and I recommend you to opt for the higher version.
To mention the excellent audio system with the Beats label, in case the “music” of the engine is not enough. Strange the absence of the cruise control, now present on any model, as well as the xenon headlights with automatic lights and wipers, which I would like to find as standard in this car.
Defects apart however we talk about one of my favorite cars. Do not buy it to keep it in the garage! The Abarth 595 Competizione is a car to use every day! Between a backfire and the other the return back home from work will certainly be more pleasant.
I would finish by answering the two major criticisms made to this model: yes, the center of gravity is high and yes, with every sudden stop the emergency lights turn on. For the first I find it normal that in a car derived from the 500 the center of gravity is high, I do not think there is a person who buys this car believing that it has a center of gravity similar to a coupe or a supercar. The second … well I read on forums that you can turn off so if you really bother, you can solve the problem easily.
For this version of Abarth 595 Competizione we have tested the price is about 34 thousand euros. They are not few! In any case, in its category and price range, there are very few cars with the same finishes. A compact, playful, cheeky car ready to satisfy the most sporting minds.
Testo: Edoardo Mascalchi
Foto: Edoardo Mascalchi, Federico Schipani