Maserati gets its own Tributo, and it has a convertible roof - in your face Ferrari!
The idea behind the Aston Martin Cygnet is all very well, but can you really fathom spending all that extra cash on a leather-bedecked and bonnet-vented Toyota iQ when it's got no more poke than the model it's based on? Supercar owners - have some self-respect. If you really want a special city runabout, then surely Abarth has a better answer...
Like the Ferrari one, but breezier
Following on from the 695 Tributo Ferrari hatchback, Abarth has confirmed a new 695 Maserati Edition convertible is finally getting its public debut at the 30th anniversary running of the Mille Miglia. It was originally supposed to appear at Geneva, but all traces were mysterious erased days ahead of the show. Based on the 500C, Abarth hasn't said how much it will cost, but there are going to be just 499 examples, and if the £30,239 Ferrari version is any guide you can expect to pay probably twice the £17,868 of the standard car.
In return, the remarkably willing 1.4-litre Turbo T-Jet is cranked to 180hp - up from the stock 135hp - and attached to an Abarth Competizione paddleshift gearbox. This'll see off 62mph in "under" 7.0 seconds and claims a top speed in excess of 140mph. More than enough, all things considered.
Opulent stuff for a supermini
New Koni dampers and 305mm Brembos add further sporting credentials, while the "dual-mode" exhaust should ensure this is one little car that gets properly loud above 3,000rpm. The tailpipes are finished in a hexagonal shape - apparently a Maserati tradition. Who knew?
17-inch 'Neptune' alloys, Maserati 'Pontevecchio Bordeaux' paint and lots of beige complete the obvious visuals. Though look closely and you'll spot some flocked interior parts and plenty of 695 badging as well.
Of course, if all these designer labelled Tributos aren't quite PH enough there's always this mid-engined monster instead.
This isn't a new trend. Years ago we had the Wood and Pickett cars. They were lined with walnut and deep pile carpets etc. They too, were not cheap.
This is just it. They are making less than half as many of these as they made F40s, so it won't be hard to shift them. The customer will be someone who can afford any car, but wants something small, unusual, fast and stylish. Whether's it's £18K or £32K is entirely irrelevant - if anything, the high price will be an incentive to buy the car (example of a Veblen good, ie when price rises, demand rises - if the Honda NSX had cost more than a 348 it can be argued it would have been taken more seriously and sold more units).
I know of someone who has the 695 Tributo Ferrari; other cars currently owned include a 458, 430 Scuderia and 365GTB/4 Daytona, all of which are used extensively. A true enthusiast. The Fiat fits in very well with these other cars as there are clearly times you might want to have a car that's not a Ferrari, but has some of the fun attributes of a Ferrari.
mwstewart21 May 2012
That is really very nice. Cracking interior, too.
sjp6318 May 2012
Lost soul said:
you could say that about any car from any manufactured cockage of the highest order
thirsty18 May 2012
I like it. For a city car, beats the hell our of a Smart.
sandys18 May 2012
To be honest with you, the ltd edition 500's that fiat are putting out aren't that bad when you compare them to the Abarth Punto Evo Scorpion, that gives no extra power, just the option for a ltd edition abarth roof rack!
The Abarth Punto Scorpione (it has an 'e' on the end) is not just a Punto Evo. It is an Abarth Punto Evo with quite a number of options, including:
Esseesse kit with black wheels
Koni FSD shocks
Black leather Sabelt seats
Dual zone climate control
The roof rack, snowboard and an extra set of 17" alloys with winter tyres comes as a separate kit
There are only 10 coming to the UK so it will be rather rare.. Only down side is that it'll depreciate like a brick!
It also has 180bhp rather than 163bhp of the stock Evo, so it does have more power, you have to buy an esseesse kit to get an Evo up to 180 normally.
Fancy 500s are not for me but they are pretty quick really and something a little different.