It’s not the size that matters, it’s how hard you drive it. And so begins the story of the fiery little Abarth Biposto 695, a car which has been slated as the world’s smallest supercar. Let’s just get this out there quickly – it is entirely street legal in production trim. More importantly, it is now available on Australian shores in very limited numbers.
During its Sydney launch, the brand was not coy about the niche market they were chasing. The 695 Biposto’s stripped out interior, lack of rear seats, door handles, air-conditioning, glass windows, sound deadening and overall subtlety will easily attest to this.
Abarth built the car for one reason and that was to satisfy the racing fans who demand nothing but the best from a road-legal race car. Have they succeeded? It certainly seems so and all within a reasonable price tag which starts at AU$65,000.
The Italian marque seem to like their numbers too and in this case it is not a bad thing. The diminutive little hatch weighs in at just 997kg and is powered by a 1.4-litre T-Jet engine (turbo) packing 140kW and 250Nm of torque. Blending a perfect balance of Italian style with ridiculous performance, the car manages a respectable power-to-weight ratio and top speed of 230km/h.
The centrepiece of the car is undoubtedly the optional race-spec ‘Dog Ring’ gearbox which buyers can spec up on their Biposto for a hefty fee of $15,000. It’s a lot of coin, but for the type of car you’re buying and the reason you’re buying it (for regular track outings), it’s a wise investment that can shave crucial seconds off your lap times via rapid shifting that is as pure and raw a driving experience as it gets.
On the performance front, the Biposto receives lashings of carbon air intakes and racing filters alongside a dual stage titanium exhaust by Akrapovic – the company responsible for competition exhausts on MotoGP bikes. Pressing the ‘Sport’ button in the cabin will also open the exhaust valve completely to give the car a boost in performance and noise that buyers of the car will crave.
Given that weight was a significant area that Abarth identified in making it a “supercar”, creature comforts were not an option. Along with the aforementioned omissions, the Biposto features optional fixed Lexan windows with polycarbonate sliding panels – just like a real race car. The aim here is to reduce weight and make it hard for you to order food from the drive-through. Handling is aided via a rear titanium roll bar by high precision company Poggipolini.
18-inch gunmetal rims by Italian wheel maker OZ Racing hide 4-pot Brembo brakes to make for one menacing looking hot hatch finished in flat metallic grey. If that’s still not enough to get your inner-boy racer going, there’s also an optional MLX data logger which can track lap times, acceleration and other vital race data.