Geneva LIVE: Abarth 695 Biposto

Packing 190 horsepower, the 695 Biposto is the quickest Fiat 500 ever.

The most extreme road-going evolution of the Fiat 500 has made its official debut at the Geneva Motor Show. Known as the Abarth 695 Biposto, it boasts more power, less weight and meaner styling than the 500 Abarth on which it is based.

Named for the Fiat Abarth 695 that was unveiled in Geneva way back in 1964, the hot hatch is billed as a version of the track-only Abarth 695 Assetto Corse that you can drive on the street without losing your license. Of course, with all of its race-inspired go-fast bits, the 695 Biposto will likely still be the end of many a license.

The madness starts with a turbocharged 1.4-liter four-cylinder that pumps out 190 horsepower, or 30 ponies more than the standard 500 Abarth. Possessing one of the more belligerent exhaust notes in recent times, the four teams with a dog-ring five-speed manual transmission - check out its beautiful, exposed linkage in the gallery above - that allows ultra-quick, clutchless upshifts.

But the powertrain is just the start of the performance modifications applied to the 695 Biposto. Weight saving measures abound: the rear seats have been deep-sixed, replaced by a titanium roll bar, and fixed front side windows with polycarbonate side panels are fitted in place of the normal roll-down units. Driver and passenger get Sabelt racing buckets that trim mass and keep keisters in place during spirited driving.

The result of all those changes? Fiat claims a curb weight of just 2,200 lbs. and a zero-to-60 mph time of 5.9 seconds, or a second quicker than the 500 Abarth. Brembo brakes bring the action to a halt, aided by 215/35 tires fitted to 18-inch OZ wheels, and adjustable shocks ensure that the 695 Biposto's corner-carving ability matches its straight-line prowess.

Of course, no race car for the street would be complete without appropriately aggressive styling, and to that end the 695 Biposto wears a muscular front fascia with gaping air intakes and a muscular rear bumper, both with carbon inserts. Carbon trim also abounds in the cabin.

European-market pricing and launch timing have not been detailed. Unfortunately, there is no indication that the 695 Biposto will ever be offered in the United States.

Live images by Ronan Glon.

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