Fiat performance division Abarth has released a strictly limited version of its 500-based hot hatch, which has a searing price tag but is one of the cheapest ways into a car with performance-enhancing downforce.
Dubbed the 695 70th Anniversario, Abarth’s latest limited edition of the cheeky hatchback supposedly marks the 70th anniversary of the company’s foundation – which actually happened 71 years ago – and has been customised to reflect early racing successes of the brand.
Okay, so it was announced last year but Australia is only just getting its global allocation now with the Abarth order books now open.
1949 examples of the 695 70 Anniversario will be produced – a nod to Abarth’s birth year – with just 40 of those finding their way to Australia, priced from $44,950 – almost $11,000 more than the 595 Competizione on which it’s based. A six-speed manual or auto is on offer for the same price.
Read next: Driving the Abarth race car
A bundle of aesthetic additions set the 695 apart from its more commonplace 595 siblings but the most significant feature is its roof spoiler which has been developed in Fiat Chrysler Automobile’s wind tunnel near Turin, Italy.
The 'Spoiler ad Assetto Variabile' (variable trim spoiler) is adjustable through 12 positions allowing its pitch to be set at up to 60 degrees, altering the amount of downforce applied to the Abarth’s tail.
Hit 200km/h and the wing can contribute up to 42kg of downforce, increasing rear-end grip and stability. Don’t expect supercar active aero though with adjustment performed using hand tools and elbow grease.
Many high-performance cars are offered with fins and spoilers attached as part of the deal but very few are more than visual accoutrements. The Abarth’s price tag is undeniably steep for something in the compact hot hatch market, but try finding anything with functioning aero for less.
And it’s not even the most expensive Fiat 500-based Abarth yet offered.
The 2015 695 Biposto cost an eye-watering $65,000 and it wasn’t even offered with its headlining feature as standard. To add the road-legal dog-ring gearbox at the time cost another $15,000!
In addition to the functional and cool spoiler, the 695 gets a shouty Monza exhaust, beefy Brembo front brake calipers in red, hiding behind unique 17-inch Supersport alloy wheels, while the cabin gets Sabelt bucket seats in Tricolore trim.
For your cash, you’ll also get 70th Anniversario exterior badging, individual numbering in the interior, scorpion bonnet and chequered roof decals, and Campovolo grey highlights for the bodykit.
The visual enhancements are capped off with a choice of five paint colours including the same Monza green worn by the original 1958 Abarth 500 that set six international racing records at Monza during the same year.
The smart money is on the manual which costs no less than the automatic but gets a limited-slip differential included in the deal for enhanced traction.
Beyond that, the newest Abarth shares the same specification as the previous range-topping 595 Competizione, including its 132kW/250Nm 1.4-litre turbocharged four-cylinder petrol engine, front-wheel drive and sport suspension all round.
Read next: Abarth 595 Competizione revie