The world famous Abarth company which was formed by Carlo Abarth way back in 1949, developed sports classics from the Fiat range and ran highly successful race teams that competed both in track and rally events around the world, famous for its scorpion logo the team became legendary and were faithful to the logo, small and deadly fast. The Abarth name had disappeared for a while, like many brands the company faded away. But now Italy’s most famous small car company has decided that the is right to bring the marque back out of retirement and let them do their stuff on the new Fiat Grande Punto Abarth, which will be unveiled at the Geneva Motor Show this week.
Not only that it would appear that Abarth will be running its own racing teams once again, competing in both track and rally events, and will be preparing racing and rally cars for customer teams to use in the many different racing series, one make series and rally events worldwide. Plus there is the potential for the merchandising operation to begin with a wide range of products as the other teams do, so this is not just a revamp for the sake of it, this is a major marketing push, backed by Fiat who know a thing or two about motor sport and marketing.
The Fiat Grande Punto Abarth, will be powered by a 1.4 ltr Turbo charged engine, which will give up to 150 bhp, however there is the potential for more power with the addition of a booster kit which will increase the power output to around 180 bhp, for comparison the an early version of the car, was the Fiat 500 which in its time, 1957, would offer just a mere 13 bhp at nearly 4000 rpm, with a top speed of 53 mph, yet after the Abarth treatment the car had a massive 20 bhp at 5000 rpm and reached the dizzy heights of almost 73 mph, so it is very clear to see the difference that the Abarth treatment can have on a car, we can only wait and see what the final specifications will be and how many races the teams will be entering in 2007/2008.
Source [Auto Express]