Abarth 595 Trofeo review

The 158bhp, 169lb ft 1.4 T-Jet Turbo engine delivers sudden bursts of urgent, energetic driving – but can it be too much sometimes?

This is another variation on the Fiat-based Abarth 500. You might think that with five models in the 500-based Abarth range, there were enough already, but no: Fiat’s successful performance brand has just introduced a new model, badged Trofeo, and at the same time another limited edition. The pricey exclusive model is the £20,360 695 Yamaha XSR inspired by the brand’s MotoGP sponsorship, while the £17,360 595 Trofeo slots between the base £15,260 595 and the £18,360 595 Turismo as a permanent addition.The Trofeo provides a 158bhp, 169lb ft version of the 1.4 T-Jet turbo engine, 15bhp more than in the standard 595 and only 5bhp less than the Turismo’s 163bhp. It’s a trivial power difference, the two powertrains delivering identical torque and the same 7.3sec 0-62mph time, although you’ll go just over 1mph faster with 163 horses. But you’ll beat the base 595 to 62mph by 0.5sec.The Trofeo package also provides more hardware. Over the standard 595 you get bigger 17in alloys, a dual-mode, quad-pipe exhaust system (grandly titled ‘Dual Record Monza exhaust’), perforated front discs and Koni rear dampers. These feature the famous Dutch shock absorber brand’s frequency-selective damping (FSD), the non-Koni front struts also having FSD. Each damper features an extra internal oil-way to improve their handling of high-frequency bumps that affect ride, without compromising the suspension’s ability to deal with the low-frequency wheel inputs required for good roadholding. So it’s claimed, anyway, although there’ll be moments when you question the effectiveness of these modifications when the ride turns turbulent.The Trofeo’s interior is essentially the same as that of other Abarth 500s, being stylishly furnished within a grotto-like space. The Trofeo’s seats are attractively styled with six large circular perforations and Abarth stitching to the head restraints, the wheel is leather-rimmed and the 7.0in U-Connect infotainment system includes some basic telemetry.

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