Corsa VXR Nürburgring vs Abarth 695 Tributo Ferrari
On a rooftop test track high above Turin, a pair of rare hot hatches prepare for a mission to grab your hard-earned...
Posted: 22 May 2012
Thirty. Seven. And A Half. Grand. For a jumped-up Fiat 500. If that figure has caused your throat to close over and your vision to go a bit blurry, we sympathise. That's why we're on the rooftop test track of Fiat's old Lingotto factory - yes, the one from the chase scene in the original The Italian Job - in downtown Turin: to discover how a steroidal Fiat 500 can possibly justify a £16,500 premium over our favourite hot hatch of the year so far, the reassuringly expensive, reassuringly well-engineered Corsa Nürburgring.
Let's start with what the 695 Tributo Ferrari isn't. The senior Fiat bods are very keen that, if you forget all else about it, you remember this: the 695 Tributo Ferrari is not a Ferrari. This is no Aston Cygnet-style rebadging - the 695 is, wholly and completely, an Abarth. An Abarth that pays homage to its illustrious Fiat Group stablemate, but an Abarth nonetheless.