Power-packed, Fiat 500-inspired Maserati revealed

Abarth, the Fiat-owned company that produces hot hatch versions of the retro-styled Fiat 500 city car, is no stranger to lavish displays of power and luxury.

In 2010 it launched the Abarth 695 Tributo Ferrari, an homage to famous Ferrari cars of the past and featuring the same famous red colour.

Now a Maserati version has joined the range as the latest special edition to roll off the performance-packed Abarth production line.

However, the Maserati version takes its cues from the Fiat 500C, adding a ‘Titanium Grey’ soft-top roof to convert the hatchback into a convertible.

Set to go on sale at the end of the year in limited numbers (only 499 will be made), the Abarth 695 Maserati edition uses a 180bhp 1.4-litre turbocharged engine matched to an Abarth Competizione gearbox.

This gives the car a 0-62mph sprint time of less than seven seconds and a top speed of 140mph despite offering CO2 emissions of just 151g/km.

A redesigned chassis, Brembo brake callipers and performance tyres ensure the car handles like a small car and 17″ alloy wheels, twin exhausts and unique three-layer paintwork add a sport feel to the hot hatch.

Inside, the Abarth 695 Maserati includes beige leather seats, carbon trim on the dashboard, a black leather steering wheel with mounted controls, aluminium pedals and Maserati graphics.

Standard equipment on the £32,000 supercar-inspired drop-top includes climate control, sat-nav, Bluetooth, Xenon headlamps, a top-of-the-range hi-fi system and even a bag set by designer Tramontano.

The new Abarth 695 Maserati will go on sale towards the end of 2012.

However, standard Fiat 500 models, the car labelled the world’s sexiest car by BBC’s Top Gear, are currently on sale from Perrys Fiat dealerships from under £10,000 for hatchback versions.