Parkers overall rating: 4 out of 5 4.0

Although modelled on the regular Punto Evo, behind the wheel is unmistakably pure Abarth performance. The fascia has been given a different finish that the manufacturer says replicates the effect of tarmac on a racetrack – although you wouldn’t know this just stepping in to the car – while the dashboard is covered in leather with Abarth-inspired red and yellow stitching.

The sporty flat-bottomed steering wheel is a good size and feels chunky and substantial to hold. Finding a good driving position is easy with the height-adjustable seat and adjustable steering wheel. However, even at its lowest point the seat can feel a little too high.

Despite the sporty looks and performance it’s surprisingly comfortable. The ride is smooth and untroubled by the 17-inch alloys that come as standard. The seats are cosseting enough around corners and room in the front is pretty good even for taller drivers and front passengers. Taller rear passengers may have some problem though as legroom is pretty limited.

Road noise is also minimal while the gurgle of the engine is prominent and should please the kind of enthusiasts Abarth hopes to attract.