July 11th, 2011 by Darren Cottingham
The Fiat 500 gets most of the attention directed at the marque’s current model range but its not the only hot hatch in the family. Fiat’s tuning division Abarth is set to change that with a new take on the Punto Evo.
The Punto Evo began life as the Grande Punto back in 2005, but was updated in 2009 as the Punto Evo. Abarth has been tuning the Punto for a while as an option for those that find the 500 too small or just too much of a ‘chick’s car’. Now Abarth has upped the ante with an even more powerful version of the Italian performance hatch called the EsseEsse.
The turbo four-cylinder engine has been upgraded to 135kW (from 123kW), through revised ECU programming and bigger turbocharger. Other mechanical parts like the braked, springs and dampers have all been upgraded and there’s a new wheel/tyre package as well. In terms of performance the Punto Evo EsseEsse will sprint from 0-100km/h in 7.5 seconds and will reach a 215 kph top speed. Continue reading “Abarth upgrades Fiat Punto Evo to 135kW” »
September 15th, 2010 by Darren Cottingham
They’re used to their cars being a bit faster than this but Ferrari F1 drivers Fernando Alonso and Felipe Massa were stoked when they were each given an Abarth 695 Tributo Ferrari to celebrate their domination of the Italian Grand Prix last weekend where they achieved a 1st and 3rd finish.
The new Fiat 500 Abarth 695 Tributo Ferrari confirms the consolidated links between Fiat, Abarth and Ferrari, which is beginning to see some serious shared projects.
The Abarth Tributo Ferrari is motivated by a 1.4 Turbo T-Jet 16v engine, tuned to develop 132 kW and an electrically-operated Abarth competition gearbox with race-inspired paddle gearshifts.
The drivers’ Fiat 500s are finished in Scuderia Red with Racing Grey details and are enhanced with carbon fibre parts like mirror covers and gear quadrant.
A numbered and limited series of these cars went on sale in July and has already notched up more than 600 orders, over half of which are destined for the UK, France and Germany.
Karl Abarth and Enzo Ferrari’s passion and dedication helped create the legend of Italian motor racing that is universally recognised today. The men behind both marques followed very similar careers: they were first drivers, then tuners, and finally heads of companies that command genuine respect in the world of motor racing.
June 23rd, 2010 by Darren Cottingham
2010 Trofeo Abart 500 at Oulton Park
December 19th, 2009 by Darren Cottingham
Fiat Abarth 1000TC replicas reflect the tastes of their owners, and at SpaItalia last year there were cars with 1300cc 128-based engines as well as 1050cc motors with 4-canal and stock heads.
December 16th, 2009 by Darren Cottingham
Track footage of Fiat’s sport-tuned 500 Abarth
October 1st, 2009 by Darren Cottingham
Abarth is at it again, securing whatever models it can from the growing Fiat network and pushing them to the extreme. The performance division was designated to handle Fiat’s rally activities, and took the IRC title in its formative year with the Punto Abarth S2000. Then they turned around and put their hot Punto on the road with the 155 horsepower Punto Abarth and 180 hp Punto Abarth EsseEsse.
More recently the scorpion badge has got its hands on the Fiat 500, and have churned out more performance variants than Porsche. The 500 Abarth debuted with 133 hp, then the 500 got an EsseEsse version of its own with 160hp. The track-bound 500 Abarth Assetto Corse followed with 200 horsepower, and at the recent Frankfurt show they unveiled the 695 Tributo Ferrari (read news item). More versions are predicted, and even more are apparently on the way — but not before the rally team has had a chance to debut the new Abarth 500 R3T.
Built to Group R3T specifications, a rally formula for turbocharged cars up to 1.6-litres in engine displacement, the rally-prepped 500 packs a 1.4-litre four cylinder engine with a Garret GT 1446 fixed-geometry turbocharger, good for 180 horsepower that’s channeled through a six-speed sequential transmission with twin-plate clutch and a locking differential. 17-inch OZ alloys are mounted to an adjustable suspension set-up and Brembo disc brakes are supplemented by a hydraulic handbrake. Inside, the 500 R3T has been fitted with a full roll cage and FIA-spec racing buckets with six-point harnesses, while dry weight comes in at just 1080kg (2380 lbs), the minimum for the category.
The vehicle was introduced last weekend at the Sanremo rally, where Abarth has won two of the past three years running, and it will be used in special promotional events as part of the Assetto Corse program.
September 10th, 2009 by Darren Cottingham
Fiat’s Abarth performance division has announced that it will premiere the special edition Fiat 500 Abarth 695 Tributo Ferrari at this year’s Frankfurt Auto Show.
The special 500 Abarth is powered by the company’s 1.4 Turbo T-Jet 16v engine that has been juiced up to produce over 180 hp. It’s equipped with MTA (Manual Transmission Automated) electromechanical gearbox with steering wheel paddles and a Record Monza variable back-pressure dual mode exhaust system. 17-inch alloy wheels pack out the guards and Brembo 284 mm multi-section brake discs with fixed four-piston calipers provide ample stopping power.
The most attention-getting detail, of course, is the paint scheme, decked out in Scuderia Red with Racing Grey stripes to mimick the outgoing 430 Scuderia. Fashion house Jaeger has been commissioned to make the special instruments for the interior and Sabelt provides the bucket seats
The Fiat 500 Abarth 695 Tributo Ferrari price will be announced in the following weeks.
March 9th, 2009 by Darren Cottingham
While it may seem like a bad time to bring back a performance marque, that’s just what Renault has planned according to a UK car magazine. Renault will relaunch the Gordini brand in Europe next year. It was recently revealed that Renault’s plans to bring back its storied Alpine product line had been axed, but the decades-dormant Gordini is apparently a different matter altogether.
The new range of hot hatches will slot in above current Renaultsport offerings, with a new Twingo variant reportedly being followed by Clio and Megane Coupe models. Like the Gordini-tuned cars of the past, the new models are tipped to wear blue paint and white stripes along with various performance upgrades that will make them a likely competitor to Fiat’s reborn Abarth lineup.