When we heard that Abarth was working with Maserati to give us a GranTurismo feeling, we raised an eyebrow. Last time we checked, "GT" couldn't possibly fit into a car that's just three and a half meters long. However, it seems there was a story here and we like hearing tales.
After the War, Karl Abarth liked to race and play with all things mechanical. Among others, he turned average Fiats into machines that secured the champagne on the race track. He would always tweak here, replace a screw there and finish every little detail until his fingers got bloody.
In the same manner, the Abarth brand now enjoys playing with every aspect of its cars and keeps giving us more and more special editions. We learned that a few years ago, when we drove the Abarth 500
and its Esseesse version.
Now, many limited editions later, the Italians have come up with this Abarth 695 Edizione Maserati. They claim the blend between the two names goes way past the badge stuff, so we're here to put that to the test.
A quick glance over the Abarth 695 Maserati Edition’s spec sheet reveals some pretty sweet toys, such as a dual-mode exhaust or paddle shifters. While this may seem like advanced technology for the "microscope league" segment of the car, you should know one thing. Mr. Abarth built such delights about half a century ago, albeit at the tech level of the time.
Enough with the history lesson though. For now, all that matters is that the rumbling exhaust idle of our test car changes its tone from time to time. It’s almost as if number 499 here, the last unit they've built, is clearing its throat to give us another appetizer before we start driving it.
It’s impossible to resist such a temptation, so we jumped aboard with evil thoughts. But we couldn’t drive off. That’s because the sun had come out and it was giving the color of our tester a whole other look.
You see, the Maserati-borrowed Pontevecchio Bordeaux hue may be nice in usual conditions, but you'll want to eat this three-layer paint when you see it in strong light. We realized how silly we'd look doing that, so we got back inside the car and drove away.Continue reading