The Abarth 595 range starts from just under £16,500 for the 145hp model, but most Abarth 595 buyers choose a 165hp version of the same 1.4-litre petrol turbo engine, this the unit fitted to 'Turismo' variants. In the great scheme of all things hot hatch, 165hp isn't a huge hill of beans. You can get hatches with more than double that power output, but as recent developments in sports car manufacture has shown, more power isn't always analogous with more fun. The next stage up lies with 'Competizione' and 'Esseese' variants which boast an uprated 180hp output.
Flog the 165hp version off the line and the 1.4-litre T-Jet turbocharged petrol engine will deliver 60mph to you in a mere 7.1 seconds en route to a top speed of 127mph. In the 180hp Competizione derivative, those figures improve to 6.7s and 140mph. That should be quick enough to get your jollies, especially when peak torque is achieved at a mere 3,000rpm. Useable power in a small package? Brilliant.
The engine uses an over-boost function which modulates the amount of available turbo boost and is activated by a sport button on the steering wheel. Carried over from the 500 model is Torque Transfer Control, which helps to improve the transfer of torque to the driven wheels. The car is fitted with a five-speed manual gearbox as standard or, as we said, on some models you can choose the MTA paddle-shift gearbox.