Props must be paid to the people at Abarth, who could've celebrated the 50th anniversary of the 595 – the model that put this performance brand on the map back in the 1960s – with a special edition appearance package and called it a day. But no, that's not how Abarth does things. Instead, it is producing 299 units of this 595 50th Anniversary Edition model that debuted at the Frankfurt Motor Show this week, and it's received much more than a new suit for its big 5-0 celebration.
In addition to the matte white finish and historical livery that reinterprets the original car's look, this progeny of the original 595 also receives a substantial bump in power – an increase of 20 horsepower over the standard 500 Abarth for a new total of 180. The upgraded engine is paired with an "Abarth Competizione" transmission, and the sizzling hatchback rides on 17-inch alloy wheels that hide larger Brembo brakes sized 12 inches in diameter. Not that the standard 500 Abarth sounds wimpy (quite the contrary, actually), but the 595 receives a new "Record Monza" variable back-pressure dual-mode exhaust for an even more stirring soundtrack above 3,000 rpm. The interior, meanwhile, is adorned with red leather seats featuring white inserts and red stitching, and a black leather steering wheel with red inserts, as well as its own assortment of historical logos.
The 595 50th Anniversary Edition will be available to order on September 15th, though we expect the entire lot to go quickly and haven't been told yet if any are earmarked for sale in the US. Our fingers are crossed.
Related Gallery2013 Abarth 595 50th Anniversary Edition: Frankfurt 2013
Abarth 595 '50th Anniversary': the most powerful Abarth 595 ever
- A history of records that is revived today in an exclusive limited edition of 299 units
- Perfect synthesis of technology and performance, craftsmanship and attention to details
- Exciting performance given by the 180 HP 1.4 T-Jet engine combined with the "Abarth Competizione" gearbox
- Historical logo on the bonnet and original handmade "Fiat Abarth 595" graphics
- Attention to detail and sportiness for its interiors, too
- Specific communication plan for digital, TV and social channels
- Exclusive extension and accessories line
- Available to order from 15 September, exactly 50 years after the presentation of the first 595
September 1963. Turin Motor Show. Abarth presented the 595.
September 2013. Frankfurt Motor Show. Abarth presents the 595 '50th Anniversary', the most powerful Abarth 595 ever.
A history of records that is revived today in an exclusive limited edition of 299 units
In the 1960s the 595 proved an immediate success thanks to its extraordinary performance, unusual for such a small car, and became the brand's 'icon'. A history of records broken, victories and passionate people who have bolstered the legend of a car that represents the essence of the brand, expressed in four values: 'size' (it is the smallest supercar), 'shape' (Abarth is the 595 and the 595 is Abarth: all the Abarths in the collective imagination are white with a red band, like the 595), 'speed' (it is a racing car boasting record-breaking performance) and 'spirit' (it is not vintage, but rather contemporary history).
The presentation of the Special Edition also becomes an opportunity to celebrate the brand. The 595 '50th Anniversary' is the car that opens up a new era for the Abarth brand. After 1949, the year it was founded, and 2007, the year it was revived, the two-year period of 2013-2014 presents itself as a decisive step for the Abarth brand that precisely with this car once again demonstrates its outstanding ability to look to the future without betraying its past. So new horizons are opening up for the Abarth brand that from the very beginning showed itself to its public as a brand able to renew itself constantly, accepting and overcoming challenges often considered impossible.
The commemorative car will be produced in only 299 exclusive units. The livery, a modern reinterpretation of the original; the colour; the historical Abarth logos; and the original "Fiat Abarth 595" graphics, all handmade by the best customisation artists at Officine Abarth in Turin, give the car individuality and character to turn it into a "contemporary icon".
Exclusivity that starts from performance, guaranteed by the experience of the technicians involved.
The 180 HP 1.4 T-Jet engine - combined with the "Abarth Competizione" gearbox - make the Abarth 595 '50th Anniversary' the most powerful 595 ever produced.
Performance is also guaranteed by performance tyres mounted on 17'' alloy wheels with 695 Magnesio Grey design embellished by an aggressive red liner. The setup and braking system have also been further strengthened: Brembo 305 mm floating brake discs that can be dismantled with fixed four-piston caliper and special shock absorbers that guarantee performance in total safety. And of course there is a "Record Monza" variable back-pressure "dual mode" exhaust, designed to improve engine performance and deliver an inspiring sound over 3,000 rpm. Performance is a state of mind.
Specific exteriors: a tribute to the historical 595
The style of the exteriors uses the historical features of the 595 without betraying its original spirit.
The historical logos on the car are a tribute to the original and are made with the exclusivity and attention to detail typical of Officine Abarth. The matt three-layer white paintwork, a contemporary reinterpretation of the 1963 model, and the graphics are ensured by the traditional handcrafting machining and finishing processes.
The new Abarth adopts Xenon headlights with dipped and driving light functions for improved light emission and excellent performance in all weather conditions. These devices deliver three times the light intensity and duration of standard halogen lamp headlights. The sun roof completes the tribute to the original car.
Attention to detail and sportiness for its interiors
The interiors are just as personalised and demonstrate the attention to detail and the sporting style of the exclusive 595 50th Anniversary. The red leather sports seats with white inserts and red stitching, combined with the dashboard, are a modern re-interpretation of those of the original car.
The historical logo adorns both the black leather steering wheel with red inserts and finder and the kick plate, giving the car a timeless modernity.
Specific communication plan for digital, TV and social channels
Celebration of the 595's anniversary is supported by a series of commercial activities across the Abarth range and by an extremely digital communication plan which revolves around the new commercial: the essence of the Abarth brand concentrated in 5.95 seconds through an evocative and epic slow motion.
As usual, in the centre of everything is the car - the absolute star of the video - and its performance. That is because according to Abarth, "Performance is a state of mind".
The communication also goes through the channels more customary for the brand with the organisation of the first digital "rally" (where at least virtual 595 Abarth cars will be involved) and the most numerous anniversary ever, also celebrated with a fun App for iPhone, iPad, Android and Facebook through which Abarth fans can "play" their favourite tunes substituting the musical notes with the powerful sounds of the engines of the Abarth cars. True fans will be unable to say no to playing "Happy Birthday" to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the 595. There will also be events celebrating the important anniversary.
Dedicated extension merchandising and accessories line
In accordance with the tradition of Abarth Special Editions, the already extensive equipment of the Abarth 595 '50th Anniversary' is enlarged with an extension merchandising and accessories line designed to enhance the experience of the brand both on board and outside the car, as dictated by the DNA of the Abarth brand. It is not just about cars, but is a real philosophy of life. Together with other important partners in their reference sectors, Abarth has developed specific products, presently in the manufacturing stage, such as the watch with the exclusive BRM brand, sunglasses made in collaboration with Italian Independent, a symbol of Italian style and cutting-edge technology, leather briefcases that are the result of the craftsmanship of the Tramontano workshop of Naples, the BBR models and a bicycle that will be made with a partner of excellence.
All products are manufactured in limited editions to reinforce the concept of exclusivity and craftsmanship at the core of this project.