The Abarth 695 Esseesse Is A Little Fiat With A Big Wing

Abarth has once again been fettling with the 500 to produce a 180 hp Italian pocket rocket. 

For those who wanted something a little spicier than the cloth-top Yachting Edition of the 500 that Fiat has unveiled earlier this week, perhaps then the new Abarth 695 Esseesse could be more your tastes? 

New however is certainly stretching the definition a bit, as the 500 on which Abarth has been fettling around with for all these years is already 13 years old. Though with so much experience in messing around with this tiny Fiat, the Scorpion-branded in-house tuning arm of the Italian automaker has predictably created something rather special with this limited-run 695 Esseesse. 

Starting with the bigger and more noticeable enhancements of the 695 Esseesse first, the distinguishing feature of this feisty Fiat will certainly have to be its massive Abarth-stamped rear wing that sticks out the back. Dubbed the ‘Spoiler ad Assetto Variabile’, this manually adjustable aerodynamic element (of up to 60º) is touted by its makers to increase downforce by up to 42 kg, though only when at positioned full tilt and travelling at 200 km/h. 

Now continuing on the topic of weight, the diminutive size of the 695 Esseesse predictably means doesn’t really have all that much of it. Even then though, it has nevertheless managed to shave off 10 kg in comparison to the 595 Competizione. Thanks to the 25% lighter aluminium bonnet with twin power bulges up front, and a new Akrapovič exhaust system running underneath. 

As for what lies under the lightweight hood and are connected to those new pipes meanwhile, this little Fiat drives its front wheels by means of a 1.4-litre T-jet turbocharged four-pot that outputs a relatively peppy 180 hp and 250 Nm of torque. Paired with either a (rather antiquated) 5-speed manual transmission or an optional ‘Abarth robotized sequential transmission with shift paddles’, the 695 Esseesse claims to be able to achieve the century sprint in a reasonable 6.7 seconds before topping out at 225 km/h. 

Rather interestingly too, Abarth has also quoted a 0-400 m dash time of 15.1 seconds. A time which they themselves claim to be ‘a perfect synthesis between engine performance and aerodynamics’. 

Moving swiftly onto other performance enhancements made by Abarth to the 695 Esseesse, new Koni FSD (Frequency Selective Damping) shock absorbers and red-painted Brembo brakes make an appearance on all four corners of this hot little Fiat. White 17-inch multi-spoke alloy wheels with red hub caps are also standard too on this limited-run model, as are the various other bits of white detailing on the rear spoiler, mirror caps and side stickers. 

Inside, the most distinct feature within this limited-run 500 would be the pair of white-shelled Sabelt bucket seats with the slogan ‘One of 695’ is emblazoned on the headrests. Other interior accoutrements however include a 7-inch Uconnect infotainment touchscreen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity that is set within an Alcantara-lined dashboard with the 695 Esseesse badge engraved on the passenger side, and is topped off by a carbon fibre gear knob and steering wheel inserts. 

Only a limited run of 1390 695 Esseesse will be produced by Abarth, with 695 examples painted Scorpion black and the other 695 Campovolo grey. Prices for these feisty Fiats have yet to be revealed, but it is expected to cost somewhere in the region of £30,000 (RM 175,000). 

PRESS RELEASE: The Scorpio brand returns to make the hearts of the Abarthisti fandom flutter with a new “Collectors’ Edition”: the Abarth 695 Esseesse, a name that has its roots in the brand’s history, referring directly to its early days when the 1960s tuning kits made a fortune for Carlo Abarth, establishing him as the inventor of tuning for mass production cars.

Produced in a limited edition of only 1390 models, divided into 695 “Scorpion Black” and another 695 in “Campovolo Grey”, the Abarth 695 Esseesse is the new collectible edition dedicated to those seeking exclusivity, top performance and a racing soul.

In its creation, the team of Abarth engineers and designers drew inspiration from the 1964 model, the “Cinquino” tuned up as a 695 Esseesse with its displacement raised to 690 cc and 38 hp so it could achieve 140 km/h, designed for everyday use and as a sporty city car, but aimed at those who were seeking the best performance on everyday roads, and produced in only 1,000 units. In addition, the “mean little Scorpion” stood out for its distinctive badges with the monogram “SS” in capital letters on the bonnet and “esseesse”, all in lower case on the dashboard. And it was immediately a success for fans of Italian sportiness.

In the design of the new Abarth 695 Esseesse, the goal was to improve performance further in terms of acceleration and handling. The research therefore drove at a reduction in weight, a different balance and attention to the aerodynamics. As well as marking out the new 695 Esseesse from an aesthetic point of view, the new doubly hunched aluminum bonnet reduces the weight by 25% compared to a normal bonnet, and combined with the adoption of the Akrapovič exhaust and other targeted interventions, has reduced the car’s overall weight by 10 kg compared to an Abarth 595 Competizione. This distinctive feature is joined in the rear by the “Spoiler ad Assetto Variabile”. As well as marking out its style, all these elements have improved performance, for example: on the quarter-mile (400 m), the 695 Esseesse manages to reach the finish line 1/10th of a second faster than the Competizione version.

Top performance and iconic details between past and present

Available in hatchback version only, the new Abarth 695 Esseesse immediately impresses with a new aluminum bonnet and rear spoiler that recall the world of racing and the Scorpion brand’s legendary history of racing. At full tilt (60°) and a speed of 200 km/h, the “Spoiler ad Assetto Variabile” – adjustable from 0 to 60° – provides for an increase in aerodynamic load to up to 42 kg, resulting in improved stability on bends and greater responsiveness in mixed sections. Combined with the aluminum bonnet, all this translates into a lower weight, improved performance on bends and an improvement in acceleration performance. In sum, the new Abarth 695 Esseesse “Collector’s Edition” is the fastest in the line-up.

The aesthetic features of the exterior continue with a series of elements inspired by the past and present, making the 695 Esseesse decidedly exclusive, such as the white details on the front and rear DAM, mirror caps and side stickers. Also white are the 17-inch rims with red hub caps, red Brembo calipers, 695 logo on the side and 695 Esseesse badge on the rear. Worthy of note are the two titanium Akrapovič tailpipes, capable of imparting pure emotions in sound both on the road and on the track, for unique driving fun and pleasure.

Exclusivity of the interior

A little gem of materials and craftsmanship. The new Abarth 695 Esseesse also shows its exclusive side in its interior: the seats include the wording “one of 695” on the headrest. This is a great innovation, the new 695 Esseesse Collectors’ Edition including numbered seats for the first time. In fact, each of the car’s two body colors matches a Sabelt seat with stitching in the same hue as the bodywork. Worthy of note are the red seat belt and the white rear shell. The customization also continues on the Alcantara dashboard fascia, where the laser-cut wording “695 Esseesse” stands out in the lower right corner. And to emphasize the racing soul, not to be missed are the elements in carbon fiber, such as the gear lever, pedals and steering wheel inserts.

Engines and tech specs

The new 695 Esseesse is equipped with the powerful 1.4 T-jet engine, delivering 180 hp of output and 250 Nm of torque at 3,000 rpm, offering a top speed of 225 km/h (with the spoiler adjusted to 0°) and acceleration from 0 to 100 km/h in just 6.7 seconds. It runs 400 meters from a stationary start in 15.1 seconds, for a perfect synthesis between engine performance and aerodynamics. The same air of sportiness also pervades the Koni FSD shock absorbers on both axles and the powerful braking system with 4-piston red Brembo calipers in the front and 305/240 mm self-ventilated discs in the rear.

The transmission is manual, but an Abarth robotized sequential transmission with shift paddles is available on request.

Finally, on the technology and connectivity front, the Abarth 695 Esseesse is equipped with the Uconnect infotainment system with satnav, 7” touchscreen with built-in Apple CarPlay and Android Auto™ compatibility and DAB digital radio.

Abarth performance

Having witnessed growth of almost 50% in market share in 2020 compared to 2019, Abarth recorded a great start to 2021 in its first 4 months, continuing the upward trend in market share in Europe, partly down to the launch of the new Abarth 595 line-up for 2021, with the refreshed 595 Turismo and 595 Competizione.

A communications campaign in celebration

To celebrate the new 695 Esseesse Collectors’ Edition, the second act of the communications campaign was made by the creative agency Independent Ideas. It completes the journey embarked on by the Abarth 595 Turismo and 595 Competizione, proposing a surreal scenario consisting of out-of-this-world characters and locations.

The new Abarth 695 Esseesse thus represents the entry point to a “super” exclusive world, characterized by a distinctive, even higher-performance style, dedicated to those who seek extraordinary emotions on a daily basis.

Joshua Chin

Automotive journalist. Professional work on and Personal writing found at Instagram: @driveeveryday

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