Karl Abarth was born on November 15, 100 years ago. Abarth was a sports car driver, constructor and tuner. But his great achievement was to make performance accessible to everyone. One hundred years after his birth, these values remain intact in “his” creation, Abarth & C, now a fully-fledged division of Fiat Group Automobiles.
An exhibition has been prepared by Fiat at Torino Esposizioni, which traces the important steps in Karl Abarth’s life, from motorcycle racing to track records, silencers and tuning kits, culminating ideally in today’s cars, which are on show in the final part of the display.
Highlighting the relevance of Abarth in today’s Fiat line-up, an important new product was presented on the inaugural evening of the exhibition: the Abarth 500 “da 0 a 100”, a special, limited series created to celebrate Karl Abarth’s centenary.
The Abarth 500 “DA 0 A 100”
To mark Karl Abarth’s centenary, the brand has brought out a Limited Edition of the Abarth 500, known as the “DA 0 A 100”; a total of 101 will be manufactured – destined for Europe only.
The Abarth 500 “DA 0 A 100” is a tribute to the founder’s passion, and a clear reference to his life, starting from the specific silencer and variable counter-pressure exhaust system, harking back to one of the products that made the Abarth name famous all over the world. The hide colour leather upholstery with silver embroidery on the new special series also recalls Abarth cars of the past. And the mouldings on the side pillars are a tribute to one of Karl Abarth’s best known customisations.
This particular version is equipped with a powerful 1.4 Turbo T-Jet engine that delivers 160 bhp (118 kW) at 5750 rpm, and a peak torque of 230 Nm at 3000 rpm. Thanks also to the IHI RHF3 fixed geometry turboblower, performance is really exciting: the top speed is 211 km/h.
The performance has been raised even higher by adopting different gear ratios: the car reaches 100 km/h from a standing start in just 7.3 seconds. Pick-up is really astonishing: from 40 to 100 km/h in 4th in 8.5 seconds, improving on the performance of the Esseesse version by one second.
What is more, perforated disc brakes front and rear, high performance front brake pads, a special air filter “powered by BMC”, special low springs and 17″ alloy wheels – with chrome-plated hub covers and Scorpion logo in relief – complete with Pirelli Pzero Nero 205/40 R16 ZR 17 tyres make the 500 Abarth “DA 0 A 100” unique.
On the outside, in addition to the silencer with 4 terminals that identify the special exhaust pipe with variable counter-pressure, the car stands out thanks to its Nuvolari Grey bodywork, which is made even sportier by the Abarth stripe on the sides, with a tone-on-tone effect. The identification badges on the pillar are also chrome-plated, like the wing mirror cases.
The same sporty imprint is evident inside, in the leather seats with their hide colour seat and silver stitching. The thumb-rests on the steering wheel (the centre is decorated with the Italian flag) are also covered with hide coloured leather, while the gear lever knob, the kick plate branded “da 0 a 100” and the special “da 0 a 100” plate with the number of the car are all aluminium. The same “da 0 a 100” branding can be found on the fuel tank cover, the ignition key fob and the car cover.
In the field of well-being on board, the 500 Abarth “DA 0 A 100” knows no rivals, and this is underlined by the automatic climate system, the radio with CD and MP3 player, the sophisticated Hi-Fi Sound System Interscope and the Blue&Me Map satellite navigator (a specific Abarth version). The equipment is completed by electric front windows and wing mirrors, and height-adjustable steering wheel and seats.
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