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This is the new Abarth 595 hot hatchback

It's a new face and more power for the Fiat 500 Abarth. This, or a Fiesta ST?

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Fiat facelifted the ordinary 500 last summer, but only now is the Abarth 595 hot hatch version getting those same upgrades. And a few more besides.

First up is the base Abarth 595, which gets 143bhp (5bhp up on before) and 152lb ft of torque from the same 1.4-litre turbo engine it had before. Step up a wrung to the 595 Turismo and you get an extra 20bhp (again, 5bhp up over the old one), a slog more torque, plus special Koni shocks as part of the rear suspension. The Competizione gets an unchanged 178bhp, those shocks on all four corners, four-piston Brembo brakes and (if you go for the Performance Pack) a proper mechanical limited-slip diff to make everything a bit less scrabbly.

Performance figures haven’t been released, but the existing base car hits 62mph in 7.9 seconds, the Turismo in 7.4 and the Competizione in 6.7. Don’t expect these to change much such subtle power hikes.

Outside you’ve the new front- and rear-ends, with new lights, bigger air intakes and a redesigned diffuser. Inside, meanwhile, various bits of trim can be had in Alcantara and carbon fibre, and the Competizione gets a pair of serious seats by Sabelt. The Uconnect infotainment gubbins are standard, and a 5in screen as standard and a bigger 7in optional, along with a 480-watt Beats stereo (if the Competizione’s switchable exhaust isn’t loud enough).

No word on prices – or a track-ready 695 – just yet, but expect something close to the existing car’s £14,610 base.

It’s got charm, but would you have one over a Fiesta ST?

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