Abarth has taken the rather bold decision to name a new, lightly tweaked version of its 595 hot hatch the Pista. We say bold because unlike the 488 that bears the same name, the 595 Pista gets no more power from its 1.4-litre four-pot - although it does promise a wider window of peak torque thanks to a new turbocharger. The hot hatch's Garrett blower has grown, giving it 170lb ft of torque from 2,250rpm, 750revs earlier than before. The boost ought to improve rolling acceleration and - perhaps more fittingly for the new name - is also said to optimise combustion temperatures so the four-pot delivers better performance for longer.
Also added to the 165hp Pista is the same rear suspension setup as the more extreme Essesse, comprised of Koni springs and Frequency Selective Damping. The setup has proved to capable enough of keeping the body in check in the 180hp Essesse, but also rather uncompromising on rough and bump roads. Whether it'll give the Pista a similar level of brittleness is yet to be seen, but at least the variant's name (which means Track in Italian) might make a harsh, circuit-focussed ride more forgivable.
One feature we can definitely get along with is the Pista's standard-fit Record Monza Active exhaust. It's the system that gives the 595 a unique, throaty voice - one fitting enough for such a racey-looking (note the lime green accents!) little car. Inside, the raciness continues with a set of Abarth sports seats and a flat-bottomed steering wheel, creating a cabin that's arguably more exotic than the 595's nearest rivals. Although there is also the usual functional stuff, including standard Apple Carplay in the seven-inch infotainment system.
Remarkably, the Pista doesn't add thousands of pounds to the 595's list price - as we'd expect it to have after the wince-inducing Β£25k required for an Essesse. The Pista is on sale now from Β£19,135 - which ranks it only second in the 595 line-up and, perhaps more significantly, makes it cheaper than the entry-level Fiesta ST.