On the floor of the Frankfurt Messe, Abarth will present three new vehicles. Well, new derivatives or editions of existing vehicles, anyway.
Having sold 1,695 examples of the 695 Tributo Ferrari – the fastest 500 to date – Abarth is moving on to the 695 Competizione. Packing the same 180-horsepower 1.4-liter 16-valve turbo four, paddle-shift transmission, 17-inch alloys and Brembo brakes as the Ferrari edition, the Competizione does away with the Ferrari logos and bridges the gap to the Assetto Corsa but legal for street use.
Next up is the 500 Cabrio Italia to celebrate, once again, the 150th anniversary of Italian unification. Underneath the special blue paint job and the folding roof panel is a 160-horsepower turbo four with overboost function and five-speed manual.
Finally the Punto SuperSport takes the existing EsseEsse to new lengths with a 180-horsepower 1.4-liter MultiJet engine, Koni suspension and tricked out interior with Sabelt buckets and Jaeger instruments. You can scope out all three in the high-res image gallery and the press release after the jump, but we'll have more up-close-and-personal shots from the Frankfurt show for you in just a couple more weeks.
Abarth will be at the 64th Frankfurt International Motor Show with a stunning stand with three major world débuts to underscore - yet again - the brand's unique position on the international motoring stage.
The Abarth 695 Tributo Ferrari was the shining star during the last edition in September 2009. The fastest and highest performing road-going 500 ever, arising out of joint venture between Abarth and Ferrari, it was a challenge that Abarth picked up with enormous success. Over the past two years the Giallo Modena, Blu Abu Dhabi and Grigio Titanio versions have been added to the Rosso Corsa livery exhibited in Frankfurt in 2009, for a total of 1,695 vehicles. Since its launch in July 2010 more than 1,300 vehicles have already been delivered, crossing the European borders and reaching as far as Mexico, Quatar, the Arab Emirates, Australia and Japan.
Results like these could do nothing other than affect the strategic choices of the Brand. In this Frankfurt International Motor Show edition it presents itself to the public with three new specialties, each of which emphasises the brand's values: sportiness and Italian style, represented by the new Abarth 500 Cabrio Italia, heritage with the new Abarth Punto Super Sport, and racing spirit with the new Abarth 695 Competizione.
The exhibition of these vehicles confirms the success of the new slogan, "Abarth, a world of performance since 1949", recently publicized in a multimedia campaign with the usual special emphasis placed on digital media.
Moreover, a premier in the Digital World as well is being presented in Frankfurt: "Abarth 24h Mobile", the first I-phone application with which the brand intends to reach all its customers and fans in mobility. It is an extremely interactive and easy to use application. It has product features created for Abarth car owners and enthusiasts who can register and take part in all brand events and interact with the official social networks of the brand using the application.
The Frankfurt International Motor Show is also an opportunity to take a look at the two pillars of the Abarth business model: roadgoing cars and the world of racing. During 2011 more than 6,400 cars have already been sold (Abarth 500 saloon and convertible and Abarth Punto). Together with the already mentioned results of the Abarth 695 Tributo Ferrari, these figures contribute to confirming the good results the brand has recorded between its relaunch and today. Suffice it to say that since 2008 the brand has enjoyed continual growth, as evidenced by sales of nearly 36,000 Abarth Grande Punto and Abarth 500 vehicles sold, in addition to approximately 9000 performance kits designed for the two models.
These sales successes have been partly made possible by the extraordinary network of dealers and official tuning shops, an organisation that is unique in its field and has further extended to other international markets such as Australia, Morocco and South Africa in 2011.
The growth in Abarth's sporting activities was also constant in 2011, consolidating the brand's presence both in rallies and on the track, in Italy and throughout Europe. As far as rallies are concerned, the official team with Luca Rossetti and Matteo Chiarcossi is competing with success in the Italian Championship with Abarth Grande Punto S2000 cars, while the Rally version of the Abarth 500 is used in the Abarth 500 Rally Selenia Trophy. Track activities have met with great success. The tried and tested single-make Abarth 500 Selenia Italia and Abarth 500 Selenia Europe trophies, have been joined this year the Scandinavia championship. And at the end of 2011 there will be anticipation for the debut of the 500 Assetto Corse also in Latin America with the Abarth 500 Panam Trophy.
The undertaking of the single-seater Formula Aci-Csai-Abarth cars continues with the intention of allowing young drivers to show their mettle at the wheel of an experience-building single-seater car at an accessible price, with the Italian championship at its second edition and with the debut of the Formula Abarth European Series Selenia championship.
Last but not least, Abarth returns to the Frankfurt International Motor Show with a stunning stand where major world débuts mingle with tried and tested models to underscore - yet again - the brand's unique position on the international motoring stage. The design idea that inspired the space is simplification: the architecture does not use a language to interpret the brand but acts as a foundation to enhance its values. Abarth and its world take centre stage and the brand exhibits itself to the public in all its pureness and simplicity, in its maximum essence. This approach focuses attention on the three new Abarth cars, positioned in an extensive space with three areas of light; a huge LED display representing the central element of the scenery forms an ideal backdrop for the cars. Technical drawings of Abarth engineering are ideally exhibited under a glass floor, visible to all, as used to happen with cars when their rear bonnet lids were partially raised.
Abarth Specialties World Premiere
The three specialties on hand in Frankfurt embody the sportiness, heritage and undisputed racing spirit essence of Abarth.
Abarth 500 "Cabrio Italia"
Sportiness is interpreted with Abarth elegance and style by the first car on display: the Abarth 500 "Cabrio Italia" in a special Blu Abu Dhabi livery - tribute to Italian design in the year of the 150th anniversary of Italian unity - combined with an electrically operated black top and tinted rear windows.
Born with a strong "Turismo" vocation, it will accompany the 2011 Automotive Giro d'Italia after the world debut in Frankfurt. This is a legendary sporting event that returns after 110 years since the first epic edition to celebrate the 150 year anniversary of Italian Unification, travelling more than 1,500 km, just like the Abarth Limited Edition.
Distinguished by a special chrome "500 Cabrio Italia" plate with satin effect, 150 cars will be produced with a 1.4 Turbo T-Jet engine that delivers an impressive 160 HP (118 kW) and maximum torque of 230 Nm at 3,000 rpm in Sport mode.
The engine is a 1,368 cm3 4 cylinder 16 valve unit (turbocharged with a fixed-geometry IHI turbocharger) that delivers exhilarating performance. Top speed is 211 km/h while acceleration from 0 to 100 km/h takes place in just 7.4 seconds. This is partly achieved by the over boost function, activated by the "Sport" button that modulates control unit mapping and turbo pressure in addition to load on the steering wheel. Yet this typically Abarth performance comes with very frugal fuel consumption: 6.5 l/100 km over a combined cycle. For the first time combined with the 160 HP engine, the Abarth 500 "Cabrio Italia" also offers a 5-speed manual gearbox that exalts personal driving style through a more direct relationship with the car. In terms of safety, the Abarth 500 "Cabrio Italia" follows the Abarth 500C standards.
In addition, as on all the other Abarths, it offers standard the TTC (Torque Transfer Control) device that by improving the transfer of drive torque to the wheels, enhances the car road holding without compromising the fun to drive it. Finally, this new special series is equipped with the "esseesse" brake system - consisting of perforated self-ventilated front brake discs and fixed four-piston caliper - which makes this car even safer, higher performing and more fun than ever before. This special series is equipped with Xenon headlights with dipped and main beam functions for improved light emission and excellent efficiency under all weather conditions. These elements deliver three times the light intensity and duration of standard halogen lamp headlights.
The "Abarth Corsa by Sabelt" seats in natural leather with backrest in carbon fibre embellish the new Abarth 500 "Cabrio Italia". Thanks to this, these seats offer a perfect blend of racing characteristics - light weight (10 kg less than the standard seat) and the ability to restrain the body against lateral and longitudinal forces, thanks to body support strip elements filled with mono-layer padding - with the ergonomics and comfort of road seats. The interior is embellished by pedals and gear lever knob in Alutex aluminium glass fibre material and running board in carbon fibre with dedicated "Cabrio Italia" graphics. The dashboard is the same Blu Abu Dhabi shade as the body and a chrome plate with the same graphics is housed on the central console with sequential numbering to demonstrate the exclusive Limited Edition version.
Moreover, an Abarth Blue&MeTM MAP satellite navigation unit with a telemetric function developed in conjunction with Magneti Marelli is integrated in the dashboard.
Steering wheel in black leather with double stitching and the mirror covers in the shade of magnesium complete the aesthetic features. The 10-spoke 17" rims with diamond effect, also magnesium in colour, are embellished by the yellow Brembo front callipers.
Abarth Punto "SuperSport"
"Heritage" is the element that distinguishes the special Abarth Punto "SuperSport" series, typified by a Grigio Campovolo two-tone livery enriched with a special matte black paintwork for the bonnet and roof, which interprets in its design an element in the past used on the racing cars to prevent the light reflections.
The exterior of the car is further enhanced by "supersport" graphics on the side panel and on the tailgate and by matt black mirror covers. The same colour also distinguishes the 18" alloy rims with dedicated Abarth esseesse design with red calipers and hub cap.
Powered by a 1.4 Multiair engine that develops 180 HP (132 kW) at 5,750 rpm and with 270 Nm of maximum torque at 2,500 rpm, the Abarth Punto "SuperSport" reaches a top speed of more than 216 km/h and accelerates from 0 to 100 km/h in just 7.5 seconds.
Further contributions to performance come from the modified suspension and safety (some of the features of the "Esseesse Abarth Koni" kit), as well as the adoption of floating, perforated and self-ventilated front disc brakes with oversized four-piston red brake calipers, perforated rear disc brakes, high performance front brake pads, front and rear Koni shock absorbers with FSD (Frequency Selective Dumping) valve and specially lowered springs. The exhaust pipe oversized in the centre segment is also taken from the "Esseesse" kit.
Inside, this special Abarth Punto supersport features "Abarth Corsa by Sabelt" black leather seats, with red and yellow stitchings and gloss black backrest (homologated and lightened in keeping with the car's racing spirit) and an Abarth Blue&MeTM MAP satellite navigation unit with a telemetric function developed in conjunction with Magneti Marelli. Enriching the interiors are the laser-treated aluminium kick plate with special "supersport" graphics, the stainless steel pedals with Abarth brand, and the leather steering wheel with double red and yellow stitching, just like the seats and the sporty Jaeger driving instruments.
Abarth 695 Competizione
In line with the philosophy that has identified Abarth for fifty years - the transfer of racing experience to the on-road car market and making the world of racing accessible - the Abarth 695 Competizione is born, the first "street legal" Scorpion racing car. This double-seat car best expresses a concept used to a great extent in the past, which connoted the Abarths as cars designed for the road but with the goal of being easily used on the track as well. It is for true sports car lovers as it has the track in its DNA and the road in its heart.
Inspired by the Abarth 500 Assetto Corsa, the exterior of the car flaunts an exclusive Grigio Competizione Opaco livery, embellished by a livery of racing appeal that however forgoes strong colour contrasts in favour of a refined tone-on-tone effect. But the main distinguishing element is inside. Like a real racing car, this is a two seater in which the rear seats are replaced by a roll bar the same Grigio Competizione Opaco shade as the bodywork. In this way the car acquires additional sporting character because the roll bar decreases its weight, making it even better performing. The space left empty by the seats sports a trim reminiscent of the almond of the racing cars, which continues into the boot. The Abarth 695 Competizione has "Abarth Corsa by Sabelt" seats in black leather with Alcantara® red inserts and a carbon fibre shell and seat base. Red stitchings, "695" logo and "competizione" graphics respectively embroidered on the headrest and backrest further enrich the seats.
The black leather steering wheel is characterised by a tricolour hub and red inserts, and is fitted with 5-speed "Abarth Competizione" gearshift paddles, while the instrument panel is specially made by Jaeger. The carbon dashboard contains the Abarth Blue&MeTM MAP satellite navigation unit with a telemetric function developed in conjunction with Magneti Marelli and, on the central console, the chrome plate with sequential numbering to demonstrate the exclusivity of the Limited Edition version.
Attention to detail has also been given to the racing pedals, which are personalised with the Scorpion logo. Finally, the interior is also embellished with the carbon running board with "695 Competizione" graphics in a satin aluminium finish.
This special series is also equipped with Xenon headlights with dipped and main beam functions for improved light emission and excellent efficiency under all weather conditions. The 17" rims whose design is borrowed from the "Abarth 695 Tributo Ferrari", matching the body, and Brembo brake calipers and hub cap, both red, complete the aesthetic features of the exterior.
In keeping with its racing vocation, the Abarth 695 Competizione is equipped with a 1.4 Turbo T-Jet 16v engine - tuned to develop more than 180 HP - combined with the "Abarth Competizione" gearbox, an electromechanical gearbox with race-inspired steering wheel controls that makes full use of the engine's performance by reducing gearshift times. In detail, this transmission has two operating modes: "Street" with automatic gearbox and "Track" where shifting is instead manual, in line with the car's vocation, "Sunday on the track, Monday at the office".
As on the 695 Tributo Ferrari, the suspension and braking systems have also been further strengthened to cope with the extra power: Brembo 305 mm disc brakes that can be dismantled with fixed four-piston caliper disc and special shock absorbers that guarantee performance in total safety. And of course there is a "Record Monza" variable back-pressure "dual mode" exhaust, designed to improve engine performance and sound over 3,000 rpm.