2021 Abarth 595 range gets more sting in its tail
The updated Abarth 595 model line-up has finally landed in Mzansi. For the 2021 model year Italy's long-lived but character-filled hot hatch carries a host of subtle tweaks and improvements. Indeed, both the entry-level Turismo and flagship Competizione models come equipped with a flat-bottomed steering wheel, updated instrument panel and turbo boost-pressure gauge now lit in white to ensure enhanced legibility. The Competizione further benefits from standard polyelliptical headlamps and LED daytime running lights.
Exclusive to the Competizione is a new matt paint shade — Rally Blue — that pays homage to the Fiat 131 Abarth Rally of the 1970s. These heritage vibes extend to new 17-inch wheels that Abarth says are inspired by the ones used on the 1990s Lancia Delta Rally Integrale.
Inside both models the dashboard-mounted 'Sport' button now wears the marque's famous scorpion logo — a hat-tip to its founder, Carlo Abarth. Pressing this button instantly alters peak torque delivery, power steering calibration and engine response to the accelerator pedal, making them sharper and thus increasing driver engagement.
Staying inside the cabin and the Turismo model sports new diamond-embossed leather seats come available in a number of colour options, including Heritage Brown. You'll also notice the addition of a new Alcantara-trimmed dashboard plus a carbon fibre gear lever. Both Abarth 595 models are equipped as standard with a seven-inch touchscreen Uconnect infotainment system with full Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility.
Pop the bonnet and you'll find that both Abarth 595 models are powered by the same 1.4-litre turbocharged T-Jet engine. In the Turismo its tuned to deliver 121kW and 230Nm, which allows for a 0-100km/h sprint time of 7.3 seconds and a top speed of 218km/h. In the more potent Competizione this feisty little unit makes 132kW and 250Nm — good enough for 0-100km/h in 6.7 seconds and a VO2 max of 225km/h. Transmission-wise you can pick between a six-speed manual or an Abarth robotised sequential gearbox with shift paddles. Speaking from prior experience we'd recommend staying away from the latter.
Finally, Abarth is also offering in limited numbers the new Abarth 595 Monster Energy Yamaha special edition. Designed to celebrate the partnership between Abarth and the Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP team, this eye-catching hatch hits the asphalt with an exterior livery inspired by the team's 2020 YZR-M1 race challenger. Its 1.4-litre T-Jet engine produces 121kW/230Nm and exhales through a Record Monza exhaust system. With production capped at 2,000 examples it's bound to be a rare sight on our roads.
Pricing for the new 2021 Abarth 595 range is as follows:
595 Turismo 1.4 manual: R399,900
595 Turismo Cabriolet 1.4 manual: R439,900
595 Competizione 1.4 manual: R479,900
595 Competizione Cabriolet 1.4 manual: R519,900
Abarth Yamaha Monster 1.4 manual: R469,900
Abarth Yamaha Monster Cabriolet 1.4 manual: R509,900