The original model of the Abarth 695 Esseesse in 1964 had just 38 hp for decent driving performance. And today? Since we drive the 180 hp 695 Esseesse special model.
How many editions of the small Abarth is the 695 Esseesse? The 22nd. Oh, that was a rhetorical question. But now you really want to know what's new? Well, not much. Or better: just the combination. Inside, Abarth flairs with embroidered seats and an Alcantaraized dashboard. On the outside, 17-inch alloy wheels save five kg. The rear wing, which can be adjusted in 13 positions up to 60 degrees - which was already attached to the 70-year edition - provides 42 kg more downforce at 200 km/h. And the bonnet carries two aluminum humps, which should bring another ten kilos of relief.
20 hp more in the Formula 4 monoposto
Below that, everything stays the same: This is where the 1.4-liter T-Jet sits, which at 180 hp has more power than the closely related monoposto racing engine, as used by Abarth in used in Formula 4. All well and good, but is that why the Esseesse is a real hit?
Let's find out. And where could that be better than in Italy? Specifically in Balocco. Here the Stellantis test center offers all kinds of playgrounds, pardon test areas, on two square kilometers. And so we rage over one of the 27 tracks.
It starts in an oval-like left-hand bend, which the Abarth guys add an additional pylon chicane to. So brake hard. The red-painted four-piston brake calipers bite into 305 mm discs at the front and 240 mm at the rear – but with a car weight of just over a ton, the Brembos have a noticeably easy game. Meanwhile, the round carbon gear knob slips through the short lanes. intermediate gases. exhaust splatter. Yes, that's how it must sound! Mille Grace! Nice that something like this still exists despite noise and emission protection!
Pocket rocket for real Abarth fans
Fine four-cylinder turbo fanfares also sound when accelerating: first there is a metallic rattle, then it whistles until the flaps in the Akrapovic titanium tailpipes open at 4000 rpm. According to Abarth, the 695 accelerates from zero to 100 km/h in 6.7 seconds and covers the quarter mile in 15.1 seconds. At the end of the long straight in Balocco, there are over 200 on the digital speedometer – which feels even faster on the high-mounted and neatly embroidered Sabelt integral seats.
This also applies to the four S-curves that follow, in which the rear changes loads happily. The Esseesse looks more stable than an off-the-peg Abarth with the rear spoiler set to the stop and tight Koni dampers. In addition, the optional front axle lock fights successfully with the sudden onset of 250 Newton meters of torque.
Sounds fun? Then you have to be quick, because the Esseesse, which costs at least 33,990 euros, is limited to 695 gray and black copies each. And don't worry if you're late. The next special model will definitely come.
Nice that there are still types like the Abarth 695: stylish, honest and sonorous. Sure, the Esseesse special model is expensive and maybe not quite competitive. But someone like him has no opponents anyway, only fans.