Fiat is cooking up something spicy and opening a bottle of classic Abarth to go with it. Up until 1971, Abarth was an independent automaker and racing team when, like nearly all Italian marques, it was sold to Fiat, who in turn transformed it into their own in-house tuning department.
The car set to revive Abarth's scorpion badge is a hot-hatch version of the popular Fiat Grande Punto. Thematically based on the European Championship-winning Rally Super racing car, the Punto Abarth will be positioned far above the current range-topper, the 130-hp 1.9-liter Multijet diesel Sporting. Sources anticipate the Abarth to be motivated by a 200-horsepower twin-turbo powerplant, which is expected to propel it to sixty in seven seconds flat. To accompany the extra power, we can expect a host of visual enhancements taking their cue from the aforementioned rally car, including a wider track, roof-mounted air intake, jumbo alloys with low-profile rubber, a lip spoiler on the trailing edge of the roof, side skirts and a black front grille like on the Panda 100hp.
It's plain to see that, just like on the F1 circuit where Fiat-owned Scuderia Ferrari battles against Renault, the Punto Abarth is aimed squarely at the Renaultsport Clio 197. A package with more power for less money plus that unmistakable Italian flare should present a compelling case when the Abarth hits showrooms late in this new year.
[Source: Auto Express]