We sure hope that when Fiat makes it to North America, they bring the Abarth performance brand along. With their Scorpion sub-brand, Fiat has created an intriguing formula that bridges the gap between factory performance models and aftermarket components. Buy a Grande Punto Abarth or 500 Abarth, for example, and you can always upgrade later to the even faster "esse-esse" spec later on with dealer-installable kits available from the factory.
As if we needed another reason to love the Italian hot hatches, Fiat has now inked a deal with their kindred spirits at Sabelt to offer a set of special sport seats. The buckets are crafted on lightweight frames and are available in either a grippy technical fabric or sumptuous Frau leather with Alcantara inserts. Both feature glossy white shells and come in black with red top-stitching, the Abarth name embroidered on the headrest, the Scorpion logo on the tilt knob and slots to accommodate a racing harness. Sure, by themselves a pair of seats are nothing to get all riled up over, but installed in an Abarth hot hatch, they make for a compelling package...and one more reason to anticipate Fiat's return to these shores. Details in the press release after the jump and images in the gallery below.
New seats "Abarth Corse by Sabelt"
The new seat "Abarth Corse by Sabelt" is born: a technologically evolved product which is the result of the cooperation between two Italian brands, sharing the same sportsmanship and technological values. In fact, Abarth once more found the ideal partner in Sabelt in order to develop this new product, which confirms the goal of the Scorpion brand to transfer to all its customers the functionality, in terms of performance and safety, of the racing world.
Designed by Sabelt Style Center, under supervision of Abarth Style Center, the new seats stem out of the same philosophy that inspired, in the 60's, the creation of racing seats for the Abarths 595 and 695. This monococque seats, clearly sports featuring, were designed and produced by Roberto Fusina, with their rounded lines and marked containment bands, suitable either for track racing and tourist use.
Nowadays, the seats "Abarth Corse by Sabelt" match the tipical features of sport seats – such as lightness (10 kilos less than production seats) and the capability of retaining the body under lateral and lengthwise drives, thanks to their mono-layer padding containment bands – with the ergonomy and comfort of the seats conceived for road use.
Equipped with a release and forward-tipping lever, the backrest embodies the headrest and shows the typical slit for the passage of four-point seat belts. In addition, the shell (with its newfangled supporting backrest) and the cushion plate are made out of white compound material, formed by structural polyester resins with 1" glass fibers, and are moulded using state-of-the-art SMC (Sheet Moulding Compound) technology.
Available in two versions (Frau black leather and fretworked black Alcantara, or black "F1" technical fabric) the seats "Abarth Corse by Sabelt" are embellished with some details like, for instance, the aesthetic felled seams with red thread and the distinctive Abarth writing, while the silver colour typifies the Scorpion Logo placed on the backrest tilt knob.
After being presented at the recent Geneva show, the first seats "Abarth Corse by Sabelt" have been installed on 200 Abarth 500s used as courtesy cars by European Ferrari dealers. This renewed cooperation with the Maranello firm deepens its roots in many shared values, such as passion for performance, racing soul, care of details and Italian style, and in the certainty that the "little and wicked" will be capable of satisfying even the highly demanding clients of Ferrari. Featuring an exclusive colour and a coat inspired by the Ferrari 430 Scuderia, these special cars show typical sport features such as the seats "Abarth Corse by Sabelt", the variable back-pressure exhaust "Abarth by Magneti Marelli" and the satellite navigator "Abarth Blue&MeTM MAP" with Telemetry function developed by Magneti Marelli.
Some contents of this special series will be soon included in the official Abarth Cars Accessories catalogue, allowing all clients to customize their cars with racing features. In particular, the seats "Abarth Corse by Sabelt" will be available not only to the cars of the "Scorpion" but also to the Fiat 500 and Fiat Grande Punto 3-door models.