The Abarth 595 Competizione, along with the Fiat 500C and Abarth 595C convertibles, are dead – but there’s a new model coming from the sporty Italian brand.
Actually, new might be a stretch. The Abarth 695 Competizione, due in the fourth quarter of this year, will differ from the defunct 595 only in minor details.
There’s a new seat assembly, while the roof antenna has changed from a rod type to a cap type and there’s been a shuffling of the colour palette.
Campovolo Grey and Record Grey can now be had with a black roof, while Racing Red joins the palette.
However, you can no longer get Pista Grey, Modena Yellow, Abarth Red, Podium Blue, or Adrenaline Green.
Otherwise, it’s the same old fettled Fiat 500, complete with a spunky turbocharged 1.4-litre petrol four-cylinder engine producing 132kW of power and 250Nm of torque.
It continues to offer a choice of five-speed manual or Dualogic semi-automatic transmissions.
The 695 is priced at $36,400 before on-roads with the manual, or $38,400 before on-roads with the Dualogic.
For reference, the 595 Competizione entered 2022 with prices of $32,950 and $34,950 before on-roads for the manual and auto, respectively.
While the 595 Competizione hatchback effectively lives on the resurrected 695 badge, the 595C Competizione cabriolet and its tamer Fiat 500C counterpart are dead.
Few if any examples of the 595 hatch and 595C and 500C cabriolets remain in dealer stock.
While Stellantis Australia has yet to confirm the reason for the droptops’ discontinuation, the writing on the wall for these models appeared last year.
When confirming the 500 and 595 would receive modifications to meet the stricter Australian Design Rule 85/00 for Pole Side Impact Performance, the company specifically mentioned the hatchbacks only.
“Both the Fiat 500 hatch and Abarth 595 hatch will be updated to meet compliance regulations,” said a spokesperson from Stellantis Australia last September.
“We do not anticipate production disruptions for the Fiat 500 hatch; however, there may be a slight interruption to the supply of the Abarth 595 hatch.”
The loss of the 500C means the Mazda MX-5 becomes Australia’s cheapest convertible, though its base price is more than $10,000 higher. The 500C opened at $25,450 before on-roads.
The Fiat and Abarth line-ups remain spartan in the Australian market.
Fiat sells just the 500 and, at the other extreme, the large Ducato van.
Abarth’s lineup is even smaller following the axing of the Mazda MX-5-based 124 Spider late in 2020.
While Abarth doesn’t have any additional product in other markets beyond a slightly wider range of 500-based models, Fiat’s lineup in markets like Europe and South America is much fuller.
For example, in its home market of Italy it still offers the 500X, Panda and Doblo, as well as the small Tipo hatch and wagon and the Scudo/Ulysse van, which slots between the Doblo and the Ducato.
To the end of July 2022, the combined total of Fiat and Abarth sales in Australia – excluding the Ducato van – sits at just 314 vehicles.
Stellantis reports 500 and 595 sales together, and even combined the Italian micro car couldn’t beat the Mitsubishi Mirage.
That’s despite the Mitsubishi having been discontinued last year due to the new ADR 85/00 rules, with the company burning off leftover stock.