But now its back. A juiced up version of the 500 is about to land in the UK, but the Punto Abarth is already here and I’ve just driven to work in one.
It was an interesting drive, made all the more interesting because I’ve also been commuting in a Renault Clio Cup this week. The Fiat isn’t as good in lots of ways. But it’s got most of the ingredients you need in a hot hatch: it goes like the clappers, it’s good value, and the cabin has lots of bespoke fixtures and fittings so it feels special. Oh yes, and it looks fantastic – especially in white.
Let downs? The Abarth’s steering precision mainly, and it doesn’t feel as well tied down as the Renault. But I liked the Punto – it’s a good old-fashioned hot hatch – with the emphasis placed firmly on accessible excitement. I’m glad that Abarth is back.