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Wednesday, August 31, 2011

New Fiat 500 Abarth models to launch in Europe

Abarth 500 Cabrio Italia

Abarth will debut two new 500 Abarth models at the 64th Frankfurt International Motor Show, September 15 through the 25. The new Abarth 500 Cabrio Italia will join the stand with the new Abarth 695 Competizione. The theme of this year's show is:

Abarth, a world of performance since 1949

Carlo Abarth and Company

Abarth has been a pioneering leader of performance tuning since 1949, when the company, founded by Austrian Karl Abarth, began building race cars and producing performance accessories. Abarth had produced winning race cars for various marques such as Porsche, but became well known for modifying Fiats and achieving record breaking racing wins. Even in the US, many a racing Camaro, Mustang and Corvette felt the sting of the Abarth Scorpion during the 1960s.

Lancia Beta Montecarlo Group 5 Turbo

Abarth branched out to produce it's own cars and engines and eventually was acquired by Fiat in the early 1970s, where it became the company's tuning arm. The victories continued, helping Fiat SpA win a record number of World Rally Championships along with a Championship for Makes added to the victory list.

Abarth Grande Punto S2000

With the relaunch of Abarth as its own separate division in 2007, the brand re-emerged as a performance powerhouse. The two road going models, the Punto Abarth and 500 Abarth have become sought after by well bred car enthusiasts all over the world.

In addition to the road cars, Abarth racing activities have accelerated both in rallies and on the track in Italy and throughout Europe. The official rally team with Luca Rossetti and Matteo Chiarcossi has been doing well in the Italian Championship with Abarth Grande Punto S2000 cars, while the Rally version of the Abarth 500 is used in the Abarth 500 Rally Selenia Trophy.

Track events have also met with considerable success. The popular single-make Abarth 500 Selenia Italia and Abarth 500 Selenia Europe trophies have joined this year's the Scandinavia championship. And at the end of 2011 there will be anticipation for the debut of the 500 Assetto Corse also in Latin America with the Abarth 500 Panam Trophy.

Abarth 500 “Cabrio Italia”

Abarth 500 Cabrio Italia

Sportiness is interpreted with Abarth elegance and style by the first car on display: the Abarth 500 “Cabrio Italia” in a special Blu Abu Dhabi livery - tribute to Italian design in the year of the 150th anniversary of Italian unity - combined with an electrically operated black top and tinted rear windows.

Born with a strong “Turismo” vocation, it will accompany the 2011 Automotive Giro d’Italia after the world debut in Frankfurt. This is a legendary sporting event that returns after 110 years since the first epic edition to celebrate the 150 year anniversary of Italian Unification, travelling more than 1,500 km, just like the Abarth Limited Edition.

Abarth 500 Cabrio Italia

Distinguished by a special chrome “500 Cabrio Italia” plate with satin effect, 150 cars will be produced with a 1.4 Turbo T-Jet engine that delivers an impressive 160 HP (118 kW) and maximum torque of 230 Nm at 3,000 rpm in Sport mode.

The engine is a 1,368 cm3 4 cylinder 16 valve unit (turbocharged with a fixed-geometry IHI turbocharger) that delivers exhilarating performance. Top speed is 211 km/h while acceleration from 0 to 100 km/h takes place in just 7.4 seconds. This is partly achieved by the over boost function, activated by the “Sport” button that modulates control unit mapping and turbo pressure in addition to load on the steering wheel. Yet this typically Abarth performance comes with very frugal fuel consumption: 6.5 l/100 km over a combined cycle.

For the first time combined with the 160 HP engine, the Abarth 500 “Cabrio Italia” also offers a 5-speed manual gearbox that exalts personal driving style through a more direct relationship with the car. In terms of safety, the Abarth 500 “Cabrio Italia” follows the Abarth 500C standards.
In addition, as on all the other Abarths, it offers standard the TTC (Torque Transfer Control) device that by improving the transfer of drive torque to the wheels, enhances the car road holding without compromising the fun to drive it.

Finally, this new special series is equipped with the "esseesse" brake system – consisting of perforated self-ventilated front brake discs and fixed four-piston caliper - which makes this car even safer, higher performing and more fun than ever before.

This special series is equipped with Xenon headlights with dipped and main beam functions for improved light emission and excellent efficiency under all weather conditions. These elements deliver three times the light intensity and duration of standard halogen lamp headlights.

Abarth 500 Cabrio Italia interior

The “Abarth Corsa by Sabelt” seats in natural leather with backrest in carbon fibre embellish the new Abarth 500 “Cabrio Italia”. Thanks to this, these seats offer a perfect blend of racing characteristics – light weight (10 kg less than the standard seat) and the ability to restrain the body against lateral and longitudinal forces, thanks to body support strip elements filled with mono-layer padding – with the ergonomics and comfort of road seats.

The interior is embellished by pedals and gear lever knob in Alutex aluminium glass fibre material and running board in carbon fibre with dedicated “Cabrio Italia” graphics. The dashboard is the same Blu Abu Dhabi shade as the body and a chrome plate with the same graphics is housed on the central console with sequential numbering to demonstrate the exclusive Limited Edition version.

Moreover, an Abarth Blue&MeTM MAP satellite navigation unit with a telemetric function developed in conjunction with Magneti Marelli is integrated in the dashboard.

Steering wheel in black leather with double stitching and the mirror covers in the shade of magnesium complete the aesthetic features. The 10-spoke 17" rims with diamond effect, also magnesium in colour, are embellished by the yellow Brembo front callipers.

Abarth 695 Competizione

Abarth 695 Competizione

In line with the philosophy that has identified Abarth for fifty years - the transfer of racing experience to the on-road car market and making the world of racing accessible - the Abarth 695 Competizione is born, the first “street legal” Scorpion racing car.

This double-seat car best expresses a concept used to a great extent in the past, which connoted the Abarths as cars designed for the road but with the goal of being easily used on the track as well. It is for true sports car lovers as it has the track in its DNA and the road in its heart.

Inspired by the Abarth 500 Assetto Corsa, the exterior of the car flaunts an exclusive Grigio Competizione Opaco livery, embellished by a livery of racing appeal that however forgoes strong colour contrasts in favour of a refined tone-on-tone effect.

Abarth 695 Competizione interior

But the main distinguishing element is inside. Like a real racing car, this is a two seater in which the rear seats are replaced by a roll bar the same Grigio Competizione Opaco shade as the bodywork. In this way the car acquires additional sporting character because the roll bar decreases its weight, making it even better performing. The space left empty by the seats sports a trim reminiscent of the almond of the racing cars, which continues into the boot.

The Abarth 695 Competizione has “Abarth Corsa by Sabelt” seats in black leather with Alcantara® red inserts and a carbon fibre shell and seat base. Red stitching, “695” logo and “competizione” graphics respectively embroidered on the headrest and backrest further enrich the seats.

The black leather steering wheel is characterised by a tricolour hub and red inserts, and is fitted with 5-speed “Abarth Competizione” gearshift paddles, while the instrument panel is specially made by Jaeger. The carbon dashboard contains the Abarth Blue&MeTM MAP satellite navigation unit with a telemetric function developed in conjunction with Magneti Marelli and, on the central console, the chrome plate with sequential numbering to demonstrate the exclusivity of the Limited Edition version.

Attention to detail has also been given to the racing pedals, which are personalised with the Scorpion logo. Finally, the interior is also embellished with the carbon running board with “695 Competizione” graphics in a satin aluminium finish.

This special series is also equipped with Xenon headlights with dipped and main beam functions for improved light emission and excellent efficiency under all weather conditions. The 17" rims whose design is borrowed from the “Abarth 695 Tributo Ferrari”, matching the body, and Brembo brake calipers and hub cap, both red, complete the aesthetic features of the exterior.

In keeping with its racing vocation, the Abarth 695 Competizione is equipped with a 1.4 Turbo T-Jet 16v engine – tuned to develop more than 180 HP - combined with the “Abarth Competizione” gearbox, an electromechanical gearbox with race-inspired steering wheel controls that makes full use of the engine’s performance by reducing gearshift times.

In detail, this transmission has two operating modes: “Street” with automatic gearbox and “Track” where shifting is instead manual, in line with the car's vocation, "Sunday on the track, Monday at the office".

As on the 695 Tributo Ferrari, the suspension and braking systems have also been further strengthened to cope with the extra power: Brembo 305 mm disc brakes that can be dismantled with fixed four-piston caliper disc and special shock absorbers that guarantee performance in total safety. And of course there is a “Record Monza” variable back-pressure “dual mode” exhaust, designed to improve engine performance and sound over 3,000 rpm.

Source: Fiat Group Press