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Abarth Fiat 500/595/595SS/695SS (1957 - 1971)

Last updated 10 May 2018

A less obvious Mini-Coooper alternative
Try finding one in the UK


One of the legendary names in the tuning industry, Carlo Abarth had cut his teeth tuning and improving the Fiat 500 – and producing his famous 595 and 695 models. These were based on Fiat’s updated version of its tiny 500, named the 500D. Abarth transformed the Fiat from a basic, budget run-around to a pocket rocket that could challenge the performance of many larger and more expensive sports cars – including the Mini-Cooper. Handling options were offered, while the 695SS could be bought with front disc brakes and wider wheelarches.

The cars became so sought-after that they are still made by replica manufacturers, with Abarth stripes and the distinctive Abarth scorpion badge. The two-cylinder engine was tuned and bored out to 593.7cc and power went up to 27bhp. Although the rise doesn’t seem significant, it was enough in such a tiny, lightweight machine. Little else was changed for this new model, named the 595. Following that, a more powerful version, called the 595SS, appeared which gained was boosted to 32bhp by using a bigger carburettor. By enlarging the Fiat engine still further, Abarth managed to obtained 30bhp from a 689.5cc unit and 38bhp for the 695SS.

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