Fiat yanked the 500 from the US market in 2019. The brand never made much headway there, leaving just the Fiat 500X as the brand's only model. However, the Fiat 500 lives on elsewhere in the world, where buyers will have the chance to grab one of 695 special-edition models tuned by Abarth called the Abarth 695 Tributo 131 Rally, which pays homage to the legendary Abarth 131 Rally from 40 years ago.
Powering the hot hatch is the most powerful version of the 1.4-litre, 16-valve T-Jet engine. It produces 180 bhp (134 kilowatts) and 184 pound-feet (250 Newton-metres) of torque in the Abarth. It can hit 62 miles per hour (100 kilometres per hour) in a respectable 6.7 seconds with a maximum speed of 140 mph (225 kph).
Gallery: Abarth 695 Tributo 131 Rally
Abarth upgrades the suspension with Koni FSD shock absorbers front and rear. The company also adds four-piston Brembo brake callipers, which sit behind black, diamond-cut 17-inch alloy wheels. Abarth also improves the car's sound with the Record Monza Sovrapposto exhaust system, an evolution of its Record Monza setup.
One of the Abarth's most exciting features is the adjustable variable trim spoiler hanging off the roof. It’s not new, but it has 12 positions that can range from 0 to 60 degrees, and it can help improve the car's cornering stability. The spoiler also creates downforce, up to 42 kilograms (92 pounds) when it's inclined to 60 degrees and the car is travelling at 124 mph (200 kph).
The Abarth 695 Tributo 131 Rally stands out with its two-tone triple-layer Blue Rally and Scorpion Black exterior. Blue Rally and Record Grey liveries are also available. Inside, there are Sebelt fabric seats with blue inserts. Abarth also adds several Easter eggs, like the silhouette of the 131 Rally engraved throughout the car on the Alcantara dashboard, the headrests, and the lower part of the door.
The Abarth 695 Tributo 131 Rally pays tribute to the Abarth 131 Rally that debuted in 1976. It went on to win 18 International Rallies, three World Constructors' Champions, two FIA Cup for Rally Drivers titles, and a World Drivers' Championships title in just six years in the World Rally Championship.
The Abarth 695 Tributo 131 Rally is priced from £32,325 OTR and will arrive in the UK later this summer.