Z given - the full and lower case name addition of the strongest 500ers doesn't seem like the ultimate answer. But who wants to be seen with a 500 Abarth SS? Just. In this case, the two letters, which have become so thoroughly disreputable for historical reasons, quite harmlessly denote the term Super Sport. And that has a long tradition at the sports branch with the scorpion in the coat of arms, which was founded by Carlo Abarth and now belongs 100 percent to the Fiat Group. In 1964, for the first time, more powerful Fiat 500 and 600 variants with the addition of esseesse found their way onto public roads - at that time directly from the racetrack.
Fiat 500 with 25 more horsepower and sports suspension
The current 500 esseesse, based on the 135 PS strong 500 Abarth and equipped with the 2,500 euro performance kit, cannot claim any such origin, but thanks to the moderate boost pressure increase and BMC air filter, it comes with a respectable 160 PS. However, due to the other items included in the esseesse Performance Kit (17-inch alloy wheels with 205 Pirelli P Zero tires, perforated brake discs, sports brake pads, 15-millimeter lowering and tire pressure sensors), the small four-seater also weighs 23 kilos more than the normal Abarth version tested in 2008.
This, the non-deactivatable, christened by Fiat TTC and frankly and aptly dubbed the 'electronically simulated differential lock' in the press kit, and the 28 degrees air temperature prevailing on the day of the measurement and 41 degrees asphalt temperature mean that the 500 top model cannot differ significantly from the 25 hp weaker, visually hardly any less smart Abarth basic model. Whether it's the standard sprint from standstill to country road pace, the brake test or the hurry on the small course in Hockenheim: Objectively, the primer-gray power egg with the red mirror caps can hardly make up ground compared to its smaller brother.
Only In the slalom, the 160 PS athlete, with a 15 millimeter lower center of gravity, wags around the red and white obstacles at an average speed of 67.2 km /h. The already good-natured front-wheel drive, which carries more than two thirds of its weight on the front axle, is also slowed down by the electronic lifeline. Since the control interventions in this case are quite lateand done gently, they do not really prevent the comfortably compact four-seater, with a length of 3.55 meters, from moving quickly.
Sporty driving is electronically restricted
On the small course, things can already be seen different. The wonderfully spontaneous turn-in is followed by comparatively unbridled control orgies of the Torque Transfer Control (TTC), which acts as a lock, even when the intervention threshold is raised. It cannot be underlined that the torque distribution between the drive wheels, which is controlled by means of selective brake interventions, ensures optimal use of the engine power, as the press release would have us believe. This makes cornering safe, downright foolproof - certainly. Sporty but also certainly not. Ergo, the restrained 500 Abarth esseesse does not succeed in gaining a head start over the base: whether 135 or 160 horsepower are gathered under the hood, objectively hardly plays a role in the rush of times.
With 1.22, The front-wheel drive Italian stayed 4 minutes below his potential in Hockenheim - even though the matter was certainly not made easy for him in view of the high temperatures. With an air temperature of 17 degrees and asphalt temperatures of 21 degrees, the little brother definitely encountered more favorable conditions. One would have expected more from the brake system with perforated discs and sports pads. At 10.2 m /s², the deceleration values are okay, both cold and warm, but considering the fact that the little Abarth grabs at 10.3 m /s², they are not really the best High fuel consumption and a small tank
The small and strong man from Italy only conjures up a lasting smile on his driver's face when he crosses the motorway quickly. The leather-upholstered seats with surprisingly long seats appear just as mature as the 1.4-liter turbo, which one would assume with more displacement on this track. The five-speed transmission works flawlessly and perfectly. Only the range could be a problem due to the 35 liter tank and consumption of up to 13.7 liters per 100 kilometers.