Frankfurt 2007: Grande Punto Abarth SS is a mini rock star

click above image to view high-res gallery of the Fiat Grande Punto Abarth SS

Fiat has big plans for the resurrected Abarth brand, wasting no time with a 180 HP splash in the body of the Grande Punto Abarth SS. Fiat plans to use Abarth as an in-house tuning and racing concern, and this car demonstrates the kind of tuning they have in mind.

There are two Grande Punto Abarths: the base model comes to the party with "just" 150 HP, but the SS takes it up to 180 HP. The Abarth SS models also get a nice body kit that looks like it came from a Transformers spare parts bin. The interior is clean and basic, but not spartan, and well-laid out. Good luck to anyone who doesn't plan on racing everyone and everything at every stop light. For a small hatch, it's one of the hottest cars out there -- check out the special edition Frankfurt Auto Show wheels -- and the hottest presenters didn't hurt either.

Check out the press release after the jump, and be sure to check out the gallery of hi-res images.


The legendary Abarth 'Scorpion' returns

After the official presentation in March this year, Abarth now makes its return at the Frankfurt Motor Show. One of the most prestigious brands in world motorsports. Abarth has always been synonymous with aggressive cars, competitiveness, passion and excitement, and it now returns with a new range that will appeal to all lovers of motor racing.

The stand will focus on two important concepts linked to the brand's revival, which represent the most characteristic aspects of its identity: on one hand, the racing world, and on the other, conversions and boosted performance achieved by the application of highly technological solutions in a simple, intuitive package.

The first concept is presented very effectively with the display of a Grande Punto Abarth S2000, positioned on a large steel platform in the shape of a scorpion, to underline both the power and the unique nature of the technical features of this car.

The second concept is expressed on the stand in two different ways. First of all, there is a large photo-quality configurator, that allows visitors to appreciate and examine hands-on the elements that are important in the conversion world. But the real novelty at the show is the Grande Punto Abarth SS (Super Sport) prototype, exhibited on a large glass platform, under which are a number of 3D monitors. These sophisticated screens project the components of the conversion kit which have made the basic version of the Grande Punto Abarth even more powerful and aggressive, in the best tradition of the Scorpion.

The Grande Punto Abarth went on the market this month, equipped with the 1.4 petrol Turbo engine that delivers 150 bhp at 5500 rpm (boosted to 155 bhp if 98 RON petrol is used) combined with a mechanical 6-speed gearbox that takes it to a top speed of 208 km/h, accelerating from 0 to 100 km/h in just 8.2 seconds. This is the Abarth's first interpretation of the Grande Punto, but the initiative will soon be extended to other models.

Grande Punto Abarth SS prototype (Super Sport)
The absolute star of the stand is the Grande Punto Abarth SS (Super Sport) prototype. A jewel of assertiveness and elegance, the car is offered with a booster kit that almost doubles its power output with relation to the basic model (up to almost 180 bhp). The 'SS' kit also envisages a number of specific elements that accentuate both the sporty look of the Abarth model (for example adhesives with the 'SS' logo or a chequered flag) and its dynamic behaviour, with a particular low stance or a more powerful braking system. This is a feature that maintains a brand tradition: for example, the Fiat 500 of 1958 delivered 13 bhp at 4000 rpm and a top speed of 85 km/h, while the Fiat 500 Abarth of the same year, produced 26 bhp at 5000 rpm and a top speed of 118 km/h.

The Grande Punto Abarth and the Grande Punto Abarth with the 'SS' kit aim to revive the thrill of those cars, offering an opportunity, addressed to the young in particular, of entering the racing world in total safety and at an accessible price.

Grande Punto Abarth S2000
The public in Frankfurt will also be able to admire the extraordinary Grande Punto Abarth S2000. This is a racing car designed for racing stables, and under the management of Abarth Racing Operations, it is competing in the 2007 Italian Rally Championship, with Giandomenico Basso and his navigator Mitia Dotta, and the IRC (Intercontinental Rally Challenge) with drivers Anton Alen, Andrea Navarra and Umberto Scandola.

Powered by a 2000 cc aspirated engine that delivers 270 bhp, with 4-wheel drive, the new Grande Punto Abarth S2000 is the heir to the version that won the 2006 European title and the Intercontinental Rally Challenge with Giandomenico Basso and Mitia Dotta, and took the 2006 Italian Rally Championship winning 7 races.

We must underline that the approximately 25 cars built so far have been ordered by several racing stables in Europe and elsewhere, to compete in domestic and international rallies. And now, thanks to this technological superiority, the new Grande Punto Abarth S2000 tackles these two championships as the title-holder, with the same determination.

The head of Racing Operations for Abarth & C. Spa is Claudio Berro, who can draw on a staff with a great deal of experience in the racing sector as well as a team of outstanding drivers.

Grande Punto Abarth spec sheet

• 4 cylinders in line, 4 valves per cylinder, 1368 cc;
• Power output: 110 kW (150 bhp) at 5500 rpm, boosted to 155 bhp by adopting 98 RON petrol;
• Peak torque of 206 Nm at 2000 rpm, but 230 Nm can be obtained at 3000 rpm by activating SPORT mode;
• 'Drive-by-wire' accelerator control, without mechanical connections;
• Turboboost by Garrett IHI RHF3-P10.5 fixed geometry turbo.

• 6-speed gearbox
• External dual cable gearbox control.

Suspension and steering
• MacPherson layout at front with anti-roll bar;
• Torsion axle at rear;
• Low sporty stance;
• Electric steering servo assist with SPORT mode.

• Fixed front calliper M4x40 by Brembo, with double piston;
• Front brake disc ø 305 mm x 28 mm, ventilated;
• Rear calliper, piston ø 54 mm;
• Rear disc brake ø 264 mm x 11 mm.

• Wider front and rear wings.

• Aluminium alloys 7" x 17";
• Tyres: 215/45-17.

Grande Punto S2000 Abarth Spec sheet

• 4 cylinders in line, 1,997 cc, mounted transversely, developed by FPT Racing;
• Power output: 270 bhp at 8250 rpm approx. with flange ? 64 (as per regulations);
• Peak torque: 22.5 kgm at 6500 rpm.

• 6-speed sequential gearbox with front engagement and cut-off during changes, housing and internal elements unique for single supply as per technical regulations;
• Mechanical front, central and rear differentials with ramps and clutches to modify lock percentages;
• Single-supply rear differential with multiplate clutch to limit torque;
• Exclusive drive shafts, tripod joints on car side and constant velocity joints on wheel side;
• Special steel propeller shaft with two branches and intermediate support on chassis.

• MacPherson layout at front;
• MacPherson layout at rear;
• Special front crossbeam;
• Special rear crossbeam;
• Adjustable dampers.

• Monolithic front calliper with 4 pistons;
• Front disc brake ? 355 mm for paved roads, ? 300 mm for dirt roads;
• Rear calliper with 4 pistons;
• Rear disc brake ? 300 mm.

• Front and rear wings enlarged to a maximum width of 1800 mm;
• Addition of rear spoiler, of a size established by technical regulations, to increase the car's stability with increased aerodynamic load.

• Rims: paved: 8'' x 18''; dirt: 6.5" x 15";
• Tyres: paved: 20/65-18; dirt: 19/65-15; snow: 10/65-16.

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