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Abarth 595 and 695 updated for 2018

Pocket Abarth hot hatch gains minor cosmetic tweaks and a fruitier sports exhaust

The Abarth 595 and 695 have gained mild updates for 2018, consisting of minor styling changes, revised trim fittings and new colour options.

A new front bumper features an enlarged front air scoop, which not only looks more aggressive but is claimed to increase engine cooling by up to 18 per cent. At the back, there’s a more pronounced diffuser, and revised reflectors and vents.

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Each of the five trim levels gains unique detailing to set them apart on the outside. Bumper inserts, for example, are finished in matte black on the entry-level 595, body coloured on the 595 Turismo and grey on the 595 Competizione. Both the Competizione and the Pista gets the option of a new Adrenalina Green paint finish and the choice of a contrasting black roof. A more subdued Asfalto Grey shade joins the 595 Turismo’s line-up.

The fifth trim level, the 695 Rivale is designed in partnership with Italian yacht builder Riva. It’s available as a hatch or a convertible, and features two-tone paintwork and boat-inspired pinstriping.

Like the bumper trims, the interior the colour schemes vary depending on model level. In the base 595, the wide swathe across the dash is finished in body colour, in the Turismo it’s Matte Grey, the Competizionie gets a darker grey finish and the Rivale has maple inlays with mahogany optional. Little else has changed inside, though the turbo gauge gets white backlighting so that it’s easier to read.

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As before, the 595 gets an active sports exhaust, which is standard on Competizione and Pista versions. Controlled by a Sport button on the dash, in its loudest mode it produces a tone that Abarth describes as “even more resounding”. There’s also a “gentleman driver” mode if you don’t want to disturb people quite so much.

The engine it’s attached to is the same 1.4-litre turbocharged unit as before. It’s available in four power outputs: 138bhp for the standard 595, 158bhp for the Pista, 163bhp for the Turismo and 178bhp in the Competizione and Rivale. The most powerful model accelerates from 0-62mph in 6.7 seconds - 0.6 seconds quicker than the Turismo.

All models are paired with a five-speed manual gearbox, while an automatic with wheel-mounted paddle shifters is optional. Every variant of the 1.4 complies with the latest Euro 6D-TEMP emissions regulations.

The Competizione gets further mechanical upgrades to set it apart from the lower models in the range. It rides on Koni suspension with adaptive dampers all round, is stopped by Brembo brakes with four-pot calipers, and a mechanical self locking differential which was first used by the limited-run Biposto.

Do you like the look the updated Abarth 595? Let us know in the comments below...

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Chief reviewer

Alex joined Auto Express as staff writer in early 2018, helping out with news, drives, features, and the occasional sports report. His current role of Chief reviewer sees him head up our road test team, which gives readers the full lowdown on our comparison tests.

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