The Fiat hall at the 2009 Frankfurt Motor Show is abuzz after the first public exposure of the Abarth 695 "Tributo Ferrari". Based on the 500 this is the Fiat that dreams of being a Ferrari. Fiat says it exists to emphasise the link between Abarth and Ferrari, two brands that share "a passion for performance, a racing soul, attention to detail and Italian style".

Powering the little dreamer's ambition is a 1.4-litre turbo petrol motor that dispatches quite a respectable 132kW (179hp) at 5,750rpm and peak torque of 230Nm at 3,300rpm. The front wheels take care of the traction while a 5-speed manual gearbox accesses the power and torque. Fiat's test times reveal that the Abarth 695 "Tributo Ferrari" can accelerate from 0 - 100km/h in under 7 seconds and its top speed is set at 225km/h (140mph). The average C02 emissions figure is 155g/km.

Italians are renowned for their style and in this instance lots of work was done to keep it that way. We are talking about 17-inch wheels wrapped in 205/40 ZR17 tyres, Brembo four-piston calipers, four tailpipes, carbon fibre door mirrors and xenon headlights. Of course the paintwork is red, specifically Scuderia Red.

Inside the tribute includes Ferrari-style instrumentation, non-slip aluminium footwells, carbon fibre seats that weigh 10kg (22 lbs) less than standard ones, red leather inserts and the racing pedals which are personalised with the Abarth Scorpion logo.

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