True to its Abarth roots, the Fiat 500 Abarth has a genuine racing pedigree. In Europe, the street cars are track worthy with minimal add-ons; however, there are two purpose built race versions for the hardcore enthusiast. The first is a road racing car called the 500 Abarth Assetto Corse (or Race Ready).
Fiat 500 Abarth Assetto Corse
The ‘500 Abarth Assetto Corse’ comes with white 17 inch special ultralight racing wheels, low ride, sports racing mirrors and a place for a number on the sides. Available in pastel grey with red Abarth side stripes, the ‘500 Abarth Assetto Corse’ has screen-printed mesh replacing the plastic grilles on the standard production version. In addition to the classic hood hold-downs, the hood houses two carbon fiber air intakes bearing the Abarth scorpion logo. The rear part of the car features a white winged spoiler, a badge bearing the Abarth logo and twin exhausts.
Inside, the ‘500 Abarth Assetto Corse’ is completely gutted of its interior to make the car lighter and faster. The car weighs approximately 396 lbs. less than the road version, bringing the cars weight down to 2072 lbs. The seating position has been optimized for racing, shifting the anatomical racing seat towards the center of the car, a racing steering wheel, roll bar and carbon fiber door panels round out the package.
Mechanically, the car sports an engine with a larger turbocharger, the Garrett GT 1446 (the US Fiat 500 Abarth uses the same turbo!). Engine tuning brings the horsepower to 200 bhp (147 KW) at 6500 rpm with a torque rating of 300 Nm (221 lbs/ft) at 3000 rpm. A 6 speed M32 transmission, coilover suspension along with upgraded, 4 piston Brembo calipers with larger 305 mm drilled front rotors brings the car to serious race specifications.
500 Abarth R3T Rally
500 Abarth R3T Rally
The other racing 500 Abarth is a rally version built to FIA's new Group R3T regulations called the Abarth 500 R3T. The rally car weighs 2381 lbs. (the minimum regulation weight) and has an engine that delivers 180 bhp at 5500 rpm and 300 Nm (221 lbs/ft) of torque at 3000 rpm. A modified Garrett GT 1446a turbo with a 29 mm diameter intake restrictor plate differentiates the R3T turbo from the Assetto Corse's.
The gearbox is a sequential 6 speed unit and includes a multiplate self-locking differential, 184mm diameter metal-ceramic twin plate clutch and special CV half-shafts.
Rally spec, fully adjustable coilover suspension, designed specifically to withstand brutal rally conditions combined with a hydraulic handbrake and 7” x 17” OZ asphalt rims mounting 19/62-17 tires complete the rugged car's specifications.
It will be interesting to see what race versions the US will see once the Fiat 500 Abarth starts making its way onto the streets this spring.