Great to see the marvellous 595S take its bow at last weekend’s Autosport International.

I’m LOVING this

We’ve been following the little car’s gestation period over the last couple of years and know full well the efforts, blood, sweat and tears that Bespoke Vehicle Developments’ boss Mark Hill and his partner Shelley have poured into the project.

If it looks familiar that’s because Mark acquired the rights to the 595 Barchetta designed by Professor Peter Stevens in the nineties and marketed for a time by the Dove Motor Company. Originally, it was based understandably enough on a cut-down Fiat 126 platform.

Although visually similar, it’s under the skin where the major changes have taken place. A new chassis and a switch of donor have been introduced and where Mark and Shelley put their heart and soul into.

The first demo car displayed at the NEC last week, resplendent in powder blue features Aprilia RSV Mille engine and other items such as instrument binnacle, oil cooler, oil catch tank and fuel pump.

The detailing on this car is first class. Headlights came from Japan.

Cool rear lights

The RSV Mille’s engine (built by Rotax) is a 60-degree v-twin of 998cc that delivers 110bhp. Mark reckons that it’s possible to buy a suitable ‘donor’ bike for around £3000 and as a bike that ‘breaks’ well a rebate of around £2000 on un-needed parts is more than possible.

Going this route, it should be able to DIY-build a very passable example from around £12,000 or to replicate the splendour of the demo car would take a budget of circa £16,000.

There certainly are some beautiful touches on the demonstrator, highlighting the painstaking detail that Mark has gone to. The beautiful Bertone magnesium wheels (195 40 R14) suit the car really well and a set was hunted down. Other stand-out areas are the headlights and rear lenses while the ‘smiley’ third brake light is a winner too.

Mark has also announced two other options – Fiat 850cc TwinAir two-cylinder unit as found in the current Fiat 500 available in three strengths – normally-aspirated 60bhp or turbocharged 85bhp and 105bhp variants – and seem to be ideally-suited to 595S use. Alternatively, the latest Abarth 1.4-litre engine can also be used.

It takes a discerning eye to match a set of cool wheels with a car. These Bertone magnesiums are superb here

This extremely exciting new launch has been a long time coming but Mark was determined that the car would be as good as it possibly could be.

We’ll have the EXCLUSIVE road test on the car in an imminent issue of TKC MAG and will keep you posted on developments. In the meantime, visit ENDS.