Abarth South Africa: The ultimate box of tricks
Abarth has taken its tradition to heart with the “esseesse” (pronounced SS) offered as a true bolt-on kit of tuning accessories for the 500 and 500C Abarth. The kit literally comes in a wooden crate, elevating the exciting 500 Abarth models to new heights not only with a host of good-looking cosmetic accessories, but more importantly with performance-enhancing tricks.
The “esseesse” kit borrows its name from the original 500 Abarth of the late-1950s and 1960s, those 595 and 595 “esseesse” models being the ultimate incarnation of the otherwise ubiquitous Fiat 500. Back then, the Abarth “esseesse” kit comprised go-faster bits that not only improved power output, but also lowered the suspension, changed the wheels, and dressed up the reformed car in Abarth badges.
The reality of buying go-faster bits off the Abarth shelf is as alive as ever today. The master tuners at Abarth devised the sporty kit for the new car to deliver an additional injection of power, improved handling and a cheekier-than-ever look.
In “esseesse” guise the 1.4-litre 16-valve turbocharged T-Jet power unit is transformed to achieve a maximum power output of 118kW at 5750rpm, 19kW up on the already perky 500 Abarth and without affecting CO2 levels. Combined with maximum torque of 230Nm at 3000rpm, the 500 Abarth “esseesse” has a top speed of 211 or 209km/h for the 500C with acceleration from 0-100km/h in just 7.4 seconds or 7.6 seconds for the 500C.
The performance improvements don’t come without consideration for the overall package, however. Over and above the out-and-out performance hikes, the “esseesse” kit also improves the dynamics and safety by upgrading the braking system and tweaking the ride.
The “esseesse” kit for 500 and 500C Abarth replaces the standard brakes with perforated, ventilated front discs (284mm x 22mm), perforated rear discs (240mm x 11mm), and high-performance front brake pads. The handling package features revised spring and damper settings, set off by a lower ride height on specific red springs, and Koni shock absorbers front and rear with FSD (Frequency Selective Damping) valve.
To keep up with the tweaked performance and handling, the Abarth “esseesse” rides on 7J x 17” ET35 alloy wheels painted white or titanium, combined with 205/40 ZR17 tyres. The conversion kit also includes four sensors to record correct tyre pressure, a special “powered by BMC” air cleaner and “esseesse” badges for the engine cover and tailgate.
As is traditional with Abarth, the “esseesse” kit is delivered to customers in a unique wooden crate and is fitted exclusively by official Abarth Performance Centres to ensure the highest standards of monitoring and safety.
Esseesse Kit – R37 000 (incl. VAT)