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Abarth times it right with 695 Rivale. Image by Abarth.

Abarth times it right with 695 Rivale
Salon QP watch exhibition reveal for limited edition, Riva yacht-inspired Abarth 695 Rivale.
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What's all this about?

There's a big display of expensive watches, from 70 of the world's leading timepiece manufacturers, that takes place in London every November. It's called Salon QP.

Lovely... but may I remind you that this is a car website, and I'm not interested in watches?

Ah, then you might like to know that Abarth chose this most unusual of environments to launch a special, limited edition of the 500.

Really? What's the new car called?

It's the Abarth 695 Rivale and it has come about as the result of a collaboration with luxury yacht-building company Riva. Unlike the utterly mental 695 Biposto, the 695 Rivale is based on the 500C, as it has the open-roof arrangement up top. Presumably to make you think you're out on the ocean waves. Talking of which, that horizontal Aquamarine line bisecting the Riva two-tone Sera Blue and Shark Grey paintwork is supposed to represent 'a thin line of sea on the horizon'. Well, of course.

OK. And what else has happened to the car's exterior?

There's a set of snazzy 17-inch Supersport alloys that cover Brembo brakes with black calipers. The handles for the doors and the bootlid are finished in satin chrome, while you can have an optional handwritten name plate fitted to the dash with the same screws as used on a Riva yacht, if you so wish.

Take me on deck, if you will.

I beg your pardon?!

Sorry... I mean to say, can you talk about the Rivale's interior?

Right. It has blue leather upholstery, an optional mahogany finish for the dashboard, steering wheel and gearlever, an exclusive instrument panel and the Uconnect seven-inch, high-definition touchscreen infotainment system, complete with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.

Which engine powers the 695 Rivale?

As with all Abarths, the Rivale has the 1.4-litre MultiAir turbo petrol, here delivering 180hp. That means the 695 can do 0-62mph in just 6.7 seconds and 139mph flat out. It should sound pretty special while doing so because it also boasts an Akrapovic exhaust system with carbon tailpipes.

How much will it cost and how many are being made?

You've got 350 of them available, split into 175 hatchbacks and 175 convertibles. Prices start from £22,680, which is considerably less than you'd need to spend on a Biposto.

Yikes! Did Abarth show anything else at Salon QP?

Just the mega 124 Spider, which was simply there making up the numbers - there's no new trim level nor engine upgrade for this roadster.

Matt Robinson - 3 Nov 2017

2017 Abarth 695 Rivale. Image by Abarth.2017 Abarth 695 Rivale. Image by Abarth.2017 Abarth 695 Rivale. Image by Abarth.2017 Abarth 695 Rivale. Image by Abarth.2017 Abarth 695 Rivale. Image by Abarth.

2017 Abarth 695 Rivale. Image by Abarth.2017 Abarth 695 Rivale. Image by Abarth.2017 Abarth 695 Rivale. Image by Abarth.2017 Abarth 695 Rivale. Image by Abarth.2017 Abarth 695 Rivale. Image by Abarth.

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