500 reasons to smile

Since the time a gorilla-looking man invented the wheel, we, as humans, have been trying to go places faster, bigger and more comfortably. The need for something bigger is in our guts…

No, seriously, if you compare the wheelbase of the 2022 3-series and the E38 740, the difference would be less than 3 inches.

But I think that most of us forgot that you just need a seat, light chassis, and a funky, naughty engine to have some fun. And that’s my friends, what the Abarth 595 is all about. Pure joy and childish madness, the feeling I got the first time I pressed the gas pedal driving away from the showroom.

You might ask, “Was he in the right state of mind?” to purchase a Fiat 500 in the Middle East, where the most common highway car is a Nissan Patrol, and the speed limits (practically everywhere) are 140 km/h. Oh yes, I was, and there’s a perfect circumstance for such a decision. You just need to find a person who is shopping for a car in your household. In my case, it was my fiancée.

In the spring of 2021, she got a new job that required a short commute, so we started shopping for a second car. Immediately I considered this as an opportunity to get another cool car into my garage. 

After looking at several GTIs, TTs and Miatas, I was disappointed with the condition of the vehicles. Most of them were either untastefully tuned, poorly maintained, or had a roll-cage only suitable for dwarfs, with both legs missing. And then, one day, I opened the local marketplace and saw a bright, yellow offspring of the FCA corporation on the front page.

My second half immediately fell in love with the little bastard. How could you not, the car looks gorgeous. My first advice would be to only go for bright colours. Yellow, Red, Chernoble green, it doesn’t matter. Just avoid black, it’s too damn boring.

We’ve had this car for almost a year, and the grocery trips have been more fun. The sound of the baby Ferrari engine, the sharp handling and the kick after the turbo lag is just pure joy. This car proved that you don’t need a ton of horsepower for butterflies to start an acid rave in your stomach.

There wasn’t a moment that I regretted the purchase.

Well, ok, there were a couple of them…but only on the highway. Although the car is planted to the ground and has very impressive handling, I still wouldn’t drive when there are very strong crosswinds. Keep this baby Ferrari in its natural habitat, the city.

The car is also pretty reliable. Aside from some unique examples with factory defects, most of them aged well and can be a good investment in the second-hand market. Before buying make sure that the car is inspected well, has no smoke coming out of the tailpipes, all four wheels are attached, and you’re golden.

P.S. Please, pretty please with sugar on top – don’t even look at the MTA (Manual Transmission Automated) transmission. It’s bad. It’s pure evil. It makes the Nissan CVT feel like a Porsche PDK on steroids. Just buy the manual.

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