A couple of years ago, there appeared before us the Abarth 695 Tributo Ferrari. It was a pumped up Abarth 500 Esseesse built as a hat-tip to Ferrari, and it sounded great.
Until you realised it cost £37,500 (RM185,500).
Now we get the second in the canon of Small Italian Cars That Are Tributes To Italian Supercar makers: the new Abarth 695 Maserati Edition. And it will cost £32,000 (RM159,000) when it goes on sale at the end of 2012.
At it’s heart, the 695 Maser is a convertible 500, packed off to the Abarth finishing school of mentalism where its bubbly 1.4-litre turbocharged petrol engine gets significantly levelled up from 135bhp to 180bhp, courtesy of a Garrett 1446 turbo. It also boasts – in sport mode – 184lb ft of torque.
Abarth has fitted a five-speed automated manual gearbox, dubbed Abarth Competizione, operated via steering-wheel paddles, 305mm front Brembo brake discs, Koni shock absorbers and a dual-mode exhaust that helps engine performance and “delivers an inspiring sound above 3,000rpm”. Nice.
As such, Abarth quotes a 0-100kmph of under seven seconds, a top speed in excess of 225kmph, 43.4mpg on the combined cycle and CO2 emissions of 151g/km.
The inside of the tiny Maser-tribute is laden with 695 logos and sand beige leather, while the dash and gearbox get a matt-finish carbon lining. The instrument panel has been specifically built by Jaeger, there’s a JBL sound system, and for your rather significant outlay, you get customised Abarth graphics and a plate with your model number.
Speaking of which, just 499 models will be built, each with that special ‘Pontevecchio Bordeaux’ paint from Maserati. You even get a Tramontano leather luggage set too.
Yes, it is expensive, seeing as the standard Abarth 500C costs just £16,861 (RM83,400). But consider this: each and every one of the 1,695 Tributo Ferraris we told you about have already sold out. All of them. Price, therefore, is a moot point.