Rate It: The Abarth 500 Race Car Built for the Street

Driving an actual race car on the street can be difficult, be it the super-stiff suspension, lack of any sort of creature comforts or even the simple fact that a lot of race cars aren’t legal for use on public roads. (Bummer, we know.) But that didn’t stop Fiat from trying to sell a street-legal race car.

Of course, it’s not an actual race car, but the 695 Biposto can be made to be just barely street-legal depending on which boxes you check. Take, for example, the Sabelt harnesses, the blank carbon door cards or even the polycarbonate windows fitted with sliding vents. 

The 695 doesn't just look like a race car, as it's also good for 190 horsepower and 184 lb.-ft. of torque—in a car that weighs less than 2200 pounds. That oomph is still sent to the front wheels, though it gets there through either a traditional five-speed manual transmission or an optional five-speed “dog-ring” gated manual. Either choice will get you to 60 mph in under 6 seconds.

All of that comes at a price, however, as the Biposto starts out at around $42,000, and can easily be configured to be over $64,000, which really makes us wonder if less really is more.

Regardless, the 695 Biposto isn’t available in North America–or is all you need for that kind of performance in a U.S.-spec 500 Abarth are some bolt-ons and some added lightness?

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Comments
View comments on the GRM forums
Jerry
Jerry UberDork
10/20/20 8:12 a.m.

I have Fiat friends online that love this thing.

Duke
Duke MegaDork
10/20/20 8:26 a.m.

I think it's totally awesome.

Is it a smart way to spend $64,000?  Certainly not.

That's irrelevant.

 

93EXCivic
93EXCivic MegaDork
10/20/20 9:31 a.m.
Duke said:

I think it's totally awesome.

Is it a smart way to spend $64,000?  Certainly not.

That's irrelevant.

 

Is any car really a smart way to spend $64k?

Duke
Duke MegaDork
10/20/20 9:43 a.m.

In reply to 93EXCivic :

Probably not, but some are a lot smarter than others.

 

Saron81
Saron81 HalfDork
10/20/20 10:14 a.m.
Duke said:

In reply to 93EXCivic :

Probably not, but some are a lot smarter than others.

 

This or a C8..... hmmm..... 

 

NickD
NickD UltimaDork
10/20/20 10:59 a.m.
Saron81 said:
Duke said:

In reply to 93EXCivic :

Probably not, but some are a lot smarter than others.

 

This or a C8..... hmmm..... 

 

Both are just as likely to break before 3000 miles.

mad_machine (Forum Supporter)
mad_machine (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
10/20/20 5:43 p.m.

Biposta.  Two Seats.

 

Check how much that optional 6 speed is, that is a good chunk of that $64,000 price tag.

Adrian_Thompson (Forum Supporter)
Adrian_Thompson (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
10/21/20 10:38 a.m.

$64k? is a bunk number.  First it's converted from a UK price.  The rest of the world shows prices with tax included.  Tax or VAT as it's British is 20% so that immediately $51,800 before tax.  Also that price was an upper limit for things like 30 more hp, dog box trans, plastic side windows, 360lb weight savings, carbon fiber seats, titanium roll bar plus more.  Suddenly the extra money doesn't' sound so extreme to me.  

Coupefan
Coupefan Reader
10/21/20 2:52 p.m.

Not available in North America.  We got screwed once again, not that I had the money sitting around.  

trigun7469
trigun7469 SuperDork
10/21/20 3:06 p.m.

John Cooper Werks is $33.9k and is 228 hp @ 5200 rpm and 236 lb-ft @ 1250 rpm. It a lot heavier at 2,855 lbs. The mini's power to weight is 0.0799 and Abarth Race car is 0.0864. I guess you can just gut the mini to get it down to 2200lbs.

irish44j (Forum Supporter)
irish44j (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
10/21/20 5:24 p.m.

So "race car" these days means they put in some fairly comfortable seats that resemble race seats, a harness bar, and some 4-point harnesses? 

I mean pretty much every Honda tuner has been doing that for about 25 years now on that on their daily drivers :)

Fun fact: All stage rally cars are street legal race cars (they are required to be). And hell no, I would never want to commute in mine!

mad_machine (Forum Supporter)
mad_machine (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
10/21/20 11:50 p.m.
irish44j (Forum Supporter) said:

So "race car" these days means they put in some fairly comfortable seats that resemble race seats, a harness bar, and some 4-point harnesses? 

I mean pretty much every Honda tuner has been doing that for about 25 years now on that on their daily drivers :)

Fun fact: All stage rally cars are street legal race cars (they are required to be). And hell no, I would never want to commute in mine!

I have not seen too many Honda Tuners installing 6 speed dogbox transmissions that have their shift mechanisms out in the open.

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