Back to the track: 500 Abarth Assetto Corse

0
36

Abarth returns to track racing, and it has chosen to do so with its new ‘500 Abarth Assetto Corse’, the baby supersports car from Abarth, due to be produced in a limited edition.

The new vehicle, designed by the Fiat Group Automobiles Style Centre and produced by a team of Abarth Engineers and Designers will be the star of track races from next year and its creation confirms Abarth’s racing vocation.

The Assetto Corse version of the petite 500 Abarth takes up the baton from its forerunner, the ‘595’ that notched up numerous successes and great victories from 1963 and led to the coining of the description ‘small but deadly’.

The cars sport a full racing outfit: wide track, white 17′ 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’ reveals an assertive front end that houses a badge bearing the Abarth logo and, below this, wide bumpers complete with an aerodynamic spoiler and screen-printed grilles to replace the plastic louvres on the standard production version. In addition to the classic bonnet clips, the bonnet houses two carbon 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 a twin exhaust pipe. The Abarth identity is expressed to the full with a thunderbolt logo on the side representing the brand’s racing image and a red band and four white chequers on the roof, just as on the winning Abarth 850TC version of the 1960s.

Inside, the ‘500 Abarth Assetto Corse’ is equipped with a roll-bar, type-approved for racing that is completely hollow to make the car lighter and faster. The car weighs approximately 180 kg less than the road version. The anatomical seats, the steering wheel (special for racing) and the carbon door panels make the 500 Abarth Assetto Corse a real baby sports car with a indomitable character all of its own.

Abarth has also thoughtfully provided a full clothing set for the driver, that will be delivered in an original Abarth-branded leather bag. Owners of the ‘500 Abarth Assetto Corse’ will therefore be resplendent in overalls, helmets, gloves and shoes, all meticulously branded with the ultra-new ‘Assetto Corse’ logo produced for the limited edition of the car.

The unveiling at the Mille Miglia 2008

The world premiere of the ‘500 Abarth Assetto Corse’ takes place right now at the 26th Mille Miglia, a historical re-enactment of the ‘finest race in the world’ to quote Enzo Ferrari – it started on the 15th May and runs until Sunday, 18th May. The Brand will have its own exhibition space at the Mille Miglia Paddock in the Fiera di Brescia, so unique and packed with tradition, it reinforces the Brand’s incontrovertible ties to the past.

Abarth cars were always the stars of the most famous race in the world – from 1949 when Abarth & C. SpA was set up to 1957, the last official edition of the 1000 Miglia race, where no fewer than 16 of the 20 Abarths taking part in the 750 category reached the finish line and dominated the entire event.

The Abarth cars that covered the 1600 km of the Brescia-Rome-Brescia route and have gone down in the history of the ‘1000 Miglia’ race were: the Abarth 750 and the 750 Zagato, the Abarth 1000, the 205 Sirca, the 205 Berlinetta, the 204 A and the 204 A Berlinetta.

It’s therefore most appropriate that the public will be able to admire a historical ‘595 Abarth’, a car created by Fiat and engineered by the mechanical genius of Karl Abarth, alongside the all-new limited edition, racing ‘500 Abarth Assetto Corse’ as well as the new ‘500 Abarth’ that is due to go on sale from July.

Technical specifications

  • 500 Abarth 1.4 16V turbo 200 bhp ‘ASSETTO CORSE’
  • Engine    • 4 cylinders in line, 4 valves per cylinder, 1368 cc.
  • Power output: 200 KW (147 KW) at 6500 rpm.
  • Peak torque 300 Nm at 3000 rpm.
  • Garrett GT 1446 fixed geometry turbocharger.
  • Special reinforced water and air sleeves.

Transmission

  • M32 6-speed gearbox

Suspension

  • McPherson layout at front, special racing shock absorbers, Co-axial spring with nut for adjusting height of car.
  • Rear: inter-connected arms, special racing shock absorbers, springs with nut for adjusting height of car.

Steering

  • Electric power steering with racing tuning.

Brakes

  • Brembo radial front calliper with four pistons M4X40.
  • Perforated, self-ventilating front brake disc, ø 305 mm x 28 mm.
  • Rear calliper with ø 36 mm piston.
  • Rear brake disc, ø 264 mm x 11 mm.
  • High-performance Racing brake pads.

Body

  • Rear spoiler and front bumper splitter.

Chassis

  • Reinforced cage structure, welded to the bodyshell.
  • Lightened interiors, Sabelt Racing safety setup.
  • Optimised driving position, shifted towards the centre of the car.

Wheels

  • Painted, forged aluminium wheels, 7″ x 17″.
  • Tyres:205/50 ZR17.

Weight

  • 930 Kg.