Driving the Abarth 595 competizione!

Our Hyderabad outing was one that was in the works for a long time. Well, in our situation, work is basically reviewing some fast cars and seeing how they drive. As I was in charge of sorting out all the cars that we would shoot, I decided to get to work and see what we could get our hands on. I was able to procure some really impressive builds- a Stage 3 swift diesel, Stage 3 Polo GTI, Stage 2 i20 N-Line, Stage 2 BMW 530d and so on. As Soham and Bhavneet were arguing about who would review what, there was a really special car that caught my eye- A Stage 2 Abarth 595. I was really excited to see one! They are super rare, incredibly tiny and really quick for what they are. I was really excited to drive it and shoot it, so my excitement started growing as every day came closer to seeing it.

We were actually shooting the Stage 3 swift when the car came to the garage, and I was awestruck. The car was wrapped in a green wrap that was made to look like the paint on the Alfa Romeo Giulia GTAm, and it just looked perfect for the car. paired with other goodies like an aggressive splitter, aggressive stance (all thanks to the Bilstein B14s), Remus exhaust, OZ rims and so much more, made the car look as if it was the birth child of The Hulk and a Fiat 500.

We quickly wrapped up the shoot of the swift and decided that the Abarth will be done the next day. On the way back to the hotel, Bhavneet and Soham suggested that I host the video. I hadn’t really thought about it, but they said it would be perfect as I already own an Abarth, and it would fit the bill very well. After giving it some thought, I agreed with them and decided to host the video.

The next day we went to the garage and I fell in love all over again. I couldn’t stop obsessing over how beautifully it was spec’d, and I was just really eager to see how it felt on the big, wide and empty streets of New Hyderabad. As Bhavneet had already made the script, we started filming the car and that was the first proper time I actually saw the car, from the inside and the outside. After doing the basic PTCs , we headed on to do the interior and It looked pretty amazing on the inside as well. The bucket seats were beautiful, they held every bit of my bulky body in place, the steering was nice and meaty to hold and honestly to speak, it had more space on the inside than I expected it to have. Being done with all of this, we decided to hit the road and see how the car actually felt.

As we got out of the garage and hit the small byroads, you could understand how stiff the car was because of the Bilsteins. The byroads in nature were very narrow, but since the 595 is a tiny car, it didn’t really matter too much and gave me enough room to push the car a little. The Remus exhaust made an amazing sound and paired with a stage 2 tune with pops and bangs, the car was quick and the pops and bangs sounded more like gunshots from a shotgun. As we came onto the wider roads, I started pushing the car a bit more and it took no time to hit triple digits. The 595 handled super well, with no body roll whatsoever and it was more like an arrow- you point it in one direction and it will shoot itself there. The T-Jet engine was super punchy and the Etuners tune made sure that you had the power all through the rev range. The tune encourages you to push the car more and more, and the engine doesn’t seem to run out of breath anymore. And the best part about all of this? The car got an upgraded carbon fibre air intake from Forge Motorsport and that paired with a beautiful Forge Blow-Off Valve made sure that inside the cabin of the car, the driver and the passenger would be entertained 24/7 with the intake noises and the turbo flutter. 

After all this driving, I came out of it with just one complaint- the gearbox. The gearbox that you get in the Abarth is a 5-speed automatic, which isn’t the best of gearboxes that are available in the market when compared to your DSGs and Torque Converters. When you’re driving the car normally around the city, the gearbox acts very calmly and changes gears quick enough to make it a seamless process. Once the car is in sports mode, the gear shifts become more aggressive, add more character to the car and just push you back into the seats aggressively. I did enjoy it, but I just missed the manual gearbox setup. Since the only Abarths I’ve seen are the Punto and the Avventura, I always associated them with manual gearboxes. If you buy an Abarth, it’s not just because you want a small, fast car, you buy it because it’s an amazing car to drive. They are super mechanical, with no electronic wizardry anywhere. You just feel so connected to the car, but in this case, I just wasn’t feeling that connection because of the gearbox. Maybe that’s just a subjective thing, but it’s my opinion and I will stick with it.

Final verdict? The 595 is an amazing, small little car that will put a smile on your face every time you drive it. It may not have the biggest of engines or the best of gearboxes, but the amount of fun you will have just carving mountain roads and small countryside highways will be second to none. No car is perfect, and neither is this, but I wouldn’t want to have it any other way. It’s the ideal small car for a 3-car garage as it can fit anywhere, go almost anywhere (if the roads allow it because the ground clearance is loooow.) and it’s just perfectly sized for the cramped up cities that we have in our country. The only thing that I would probably want is to have a manual gearbox, and it would be irreplaceable in my mind.

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Tanay Nellari
Tanay Nellari

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