The special Fiat 500 Abarth Venom prototype was unveiled to journalists earlier this month during the Fiat 500 Abarth media event. This heavily customized Fiat 500 Abarth showcases what an Abarth owner can do with the full range of Magneti Marelli aftermarket accessories. These soon to be available parts include: carbon fiber trim, lowering kits, light alloy rims, boost controllers, turbo blow-off valves, unique leather interiors, and custom handmade exhaust systems just to name a few.
The Fiat 500 Abarth Venom features an engine that is boosted to over 200 HP and weighs in a little over 2,000 lbs. Upgraded brakes and a suspension that is lowered 2 plus inches help in containing all this power. According to the Italian Magneti Marelli engineer I talked with, the performance is 'quite nice', which I took as a suave way of saying unfreakin' believable.
Magneti Marelli supplies the original suspension, exhaust, lighting, instruments and fuel injection system for the European Fiat 500 and 500 Abarth. In addition, through its aftermarket division, Magneti Marelli supplies parts for the racing 500 Abarth Asseto Corse and a host of other performance parts and accessories. Now that the Fiat 500 Abarth is here, and the regular Fiat 500 sales are in full swing, Fiat USA is tapping Marelli's wealth of knowledge and parts bins.
Some of these parts will need to be tweaked for US consumption, but FIAT USA has given the go ahead to bring a variety of accessories over to the US for distribution through MOPAR channels. Fiat 500 and 500 Abarth accessories will be added over the coming months and expect to see the bulk of them by this June.
The Fiat 500 Abarth Magneti Marelli Boost Controller is fully plug and play, with OEM connectors (which makes sense because they supply the original electronic engine control units in Europe). It integrates into the electronic control system and increases horsepower and engine response. There are safeguards built in as the Boost Controller monitors engine sensors and will reduce power in certain situations, for example; if the engine should overheat. This image is of the European version which adds approximately 27 HP to the 500 Abarth. The US version is still under wraps.
Magneti Marelli Boost Controller for the Fiat 500 Abarth is particularly interesting as it plugs directly into the factory harness and connectors and gives the car a tremendous boost in performance. The Boost Controller in the Fiat 500 Abarth Venom has been calibrated to the extreme, normally this add on unit for European cars typically adds 25 - 30 HP. Here are some key elements of the Magneti Marelli Boost Controller, courtesy of Magneti Marelli:
The control module is designed for sporting use and for maximum satisfaction and safety:
- It is activated only after the engine has reached operating temperature.
- Deactivates in case of abnormal and prolonged elevated engine temperatures and overheating.
- Uses gold-plated pins in electrical connectors for zero current leakage.
- All the connectors O.E.
- Limits the increase of power to be within the limits of mechanical gearbox and clutch of the car.
- Receives data from the original ECU and sensors and reinterprets them by changing boost pressure, fuel flow, injection timing and ignition advance.
One US company that already has stocks of Magneti Marelli products available for the Fiat 500 and Fiat 500 Abarth is 500 Madness. They have been a Magneti Marelli dealer before the 500 was even available here in the US and have expertise on what fits and what doesn't. Make sure you check out their site.
More About Magneti Marelli
Magneti Marelli is well known in the racing world and supplies parts and electronics to Formula 1 and World Rally Championship racing teams from all over the world. With 2011 revenues of $7.8 billion and approximately 35,000 employees, Magneti Marelli has a reputation for producing advanced automotive systems and components. The company has 77 production facilities, 11 research and development centers, and 26 application centers in 18 countries.
Products include lighting components, electronic engine control units, instrument panel, suspension systems and shock absorbers, exhaust systems, and plastic components (bumpers and tank).
The 2012 Fiat 500 Abarth uses a Garrett GT1446 tubocharger, the same turbo that is used in the Abarth R3T racecar. For the Fiat 500 Abarth Venom, the boost has been turned up and a blow-off valve added, bringing the car to over 200 HP.
Magneti Marelli supplies many high-tech components for the new Ferrari F12 Berlinetta. These parts include the multifunction instrument cluster with TFT display, LED rear lights, and electronic control unit with related software to control the Active Brake Cooling system.
Magneti Marelli developed the world's first mass-produced full-LED headlamp for installation in the Audi R8 and is an OEM supplier to the Volkswagen Group (VAG).
Tim Kuniskis, Head of Fiat Brand North America, had the Sabelt seats in the Fiat 500 Abarth Venom lowered a bit to give the car an even sportier feel inside.
In Europe, these seats were introduced as “Abarth Corse by Sabelt” and made their debut being installed on 200 Abarth 500s used as courtesy cars by European Ferrari dealers.
The Sabelt seat backs in the Fiat 500 Abarth Venom are done in an optional carbon fiber. Standard Sabelt seatbacks are made from a resin that is left in its natural color of off white.
With thanks to: Magneti Marelli Aftermarket NA, 500Madness