Hot on the heels of the Aston Martin Cygnet as the most unlikely badge to find on a city car is this: the Abarth 695 Tributo Ferrari.
The prancing Shetland pony was today confirmed for UK sale – and it's going to cost the thick end of £30k. That's right: 30 big ones...
Abarth 695 Tributo Ferrari: just a pumped-up Fiat 500?
You got it. Essentially, a breathed-on and fettled Fiat 500 1.4 turbo, the 695 offers a select few buyers a little more exclusivity over those who shunned the Mini for the basic 500. It also has the potential to be more exclusive than the much-talked-about Aston Martin Cygnet, with just 152 RHD examples of the Abarth set to reach Britain.
However as is often the case, exclusivity comes at a price – £29,600 to be precise. Before you scoff at this, for your nigh on £30k, you will get a Ferrari-inspired exterior with carbon door mirrors as well as Corsa Grey alloy wheels and intake vents.
But is it any quicker? It has got a Ferrari badge...
In addition to the glamorised exterior, the 695 Tributo gains an additional 20bhp over the standard 500 Abarth esseesse, which shares the same 1.4 turbocharged motor. There's a variable pressure sports exhaust which changes the engine sound over a certain rev limit, for that authentic Ferrari experience. To cope with this hike in power, the 695 also sprouts uprated suspension, tyres and 284mm Brembo front brakes.
Inside has also been subject to a makeover of exotica proportions, with the little Fiat gaining paddleshift, leather-clad bucket seats and aluminium pedals. Mounted behind the steering wheel are the paddles for the ‘Abarth Competizione’ gearbox which features both manual and auto modes.
Fiat, it seems, is confident the car will receive a warm welcome when the few examples go on sale over here. 'Abarth and Ferrari are both iconic names in Italian automotive history,' says Ivan Gibson, head of Abarth in the UK. 'Their passion and dedication helped to create a reputation for sporting excellence in Italian cars around the world, and this new Abarth 695 Tributo Ferrari upholds that tradition with some style.'
Hmm. One of the most brazen bits of badge engineering in recent memory!
If you have £30k to spend and would like one, the 695 Tributo Ferrari is available for special order now through any of Fiat's 17 Abarth dealer network. If you don’t have that kind of money to splash on a tarted-up supermini, a Ferrari cap is around £16.85 from Ferrari stores and will have a similar effect on your personal life.