Still waiting for that baby Ferrari to come along? This may be as close as you'll get. Confirming earlier reports, Fiat's Abarth and Ferrari subsidiaries have gotten together to collaborate on a special 500 to honor Maranello. We first heard about a special Ferrari edition 500 last year when we were in Italy test driving the new Alfa MiTo. But while the previous 500 created for Ferrari was used solely as a courtesy car for Ferrari owners bringing in their cars for service, this new Frankfurt-bound special edition will actually be available for purchase by the general public.
Called the 695 Tributo Ferrari, the special Cinquecento packs a 1.4-liter 16-valve turbo four tuned by Abarth and Ferrari engineers to produce over 180 horsepower, snorting through a variable exhaust system and mated to a paddle-shift automated manual transmission. 17-inch rims crowd the little wheel wells, mounted to a sport-tuned suspension and packing 284mm Brembo brake discs.
The most attention-getting detail, of course, is the paint scheme, decked out in Scuderia Red with Racing Grey stripes to mimick the outgoing 430 Scuderia. All we've got on the interior so far is that Jaeger has been commissioned to make the special instruments and Sabelt provides the bucket seats (probably similar to the ones we reported on recently).
This isn't the first time the Prancing Horse and the Scorpion marques have come together, Fiat pointing to the 1953 Ferrari 166/250 MM Abarth for reference. And whether this proves to be more of a marketing ploy or a serious set of wheels remains to be seen, but it's got to be better than the Michael Schumacher edition Fiat Stilo from a few years ago. For our part, we wouldn't mind pitting this against the upcoming Toyota iQ-based Aston Martin Cygnet to determine who'll be king of the exotic-branded superminis. Check it out in the press release after the jump and images in the hi-res gallery below.
The Abarth 695 "Tributo Ferrari"
The Abarth 695 "Tributo Ferrari" makes its world debut at Frankfurt. This new performance version of the Abarth 500 confirms the link between Abarth and Ferrari based on shared values that include a passion for performance, a racing soul, attention to detail and Italian style.
Abarth and Ferrari are two great names that have contributed, with conviction and dedication, to the legend of Italian racing that is known around the world. The legendary men behind both marques followed very similar careers: first drivers, then tuners and finally heads of companies that command genuine respect in the world of motor racing. These extraordinary men were associated in the past: in 1953, for example, a unique Ferrari-Abarth was born, the Ferrari 166/250 MM Abarth. The car raced in various international trophies including the legendary Mille Miglia. The tie between the two companies has been reinforced above all by the exhaust systems designed by Abarth specifically for the cars built at Maranello: numerous exhaust systems have been made for various Ferrari models, some of which have won World Championship titles.
The two brands have recently renewed their collaboration. The first result of this was the supply of a limited and numbered series of Abarth 500's to Ferrari's European dealers in recent months for use as "courtesy cars".
Now, attention turns to the new Abarth 695 "Tributo Ferrari", an exclusive vehicle that not only enables Abarth to extend its range by entering into the luxury sports car market, but also offers Ferrari customers a small but exciting small car for all their mobility needs, including practical urban mobility.
The new Abarth 695 "Tributo Ferrari" is distinguished by a number of stylistic changes, but more importantly by substantial modifications developed by Abarth and Ferrari engineers. The engine, for a start, is a 1.4 Turbo T-Jet 16v, tuned to develop over 180 HP. This is combined with an MTA (Manual Transmission Automated) electromechanical gearbox with race-inspired paddle gearshift that makes full use of the engine's performance by reducing gearshift times.
To improve acceleration, the car is fitted with performance tyres on 17'' alloy wheels featuring a design inspired by Ferrari wheels. The suspension and braking systems have also been strengthened to cope with the extra power: 284 mm multi-section discs with fixed four-piston calipers, both by Brembo, and special shock absorbers let you enjoy 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.
On the outside, the car is finished in Scuderia Red, with carbon fibre door mirrors and with details like the wheels and rear air intakes in Racing Grey. This new Abarth is equipped with Xenon headlights with dipped and main beam functions for improved light emission and excellent efficiency under all weather conditions. Made by Magneti Marelli Automotive Lighting, these elements deliver three times the light intensity and duration of standard halogen lamp headlights.
The interiors are also personalised and demonstrate the attention to detail and the sporting style that are common to both brands. "Abarth Corsa by Sabelt" seats are fitted and finished in black leather with a shell and seat base in carbon fibre. These seats offer a perfect blend of racing characteristics – light weight (10 kg less than the standard seat) and the ability hold the body steady against lateral and longitudinal forces, thanks to body support elements filled with crush-resistant foam – with the ergonomics and comfort of road seats.
The black leather steering wheel is characterised by red leather inserts and a tricolour hub on which the MTA gearshift paddles are mounted, while the instrument panel is specially made by Jaeger, and inspired by typical Ferrari instrumentation. Attention to detail has gone into the floor too: the foot wells are covered entirely in non-slip aluminium and the racing pedals are personalised with the Scorpion logo. The interior is embellished with other details too, like special kick plates and a plate bearing the vehicle series number.