Abarth 500 GULF Limited Edition unveiled

Article by Christian Andrei, on February 1, 2011

The Abarth 500 GULF, a very limited edition of the Abarth 500, has recently been unveiled by the Luxembourg division of the Gulf Oil Company, together with Autopolis, Abarth’s official distributor in the region.

The special series was meant to celebrate the tenth anniversary of the oil company’s activities in Luxembourg. Marc Reiff, director of GULF Luxembourg, said that it sought to create a link between the Gulf and the car it give away.

Reiff added that GULF has a rich history in racing and the company wanted to offer a car that is consistent with that brand image. Reiff explained that they decided on a small car commissioned from Autopolis: the Abarth 500, which has a sporty and original image that meets their expectations.

So that the car would have an original feel, the partners agreed to use GULF colors. The blue and orange color scheme that has been used by Gulf as well as the logos that have adorned numerous racing cars over the years will be featured on this car.

The same scheme can be seen on the contemporary Aston Martin Le Mans Prototype. This special edition Abarth 500, exclusive for Luxembourg, has an output of 160hp and comes with a Record Monza exhaust, Corse-Sabelt seats (with backs in Gulf-blue), and a limited edition plate.

Only 10 units of the Abarth 500 GULF will be built, making it more exclusive than the Abarth 695 Tributo Ferrari. This car is priced at around EUR25,000.

In totally keeping with the tradition of Abarth, the Fiat 500 Abarth is styled in a way that also considerably enhances the car’s performance. There is no better proof to this than paying close attention to details in terms of functionality and aerodynamics of some components. As an example, in comparison to the basic unit, the 500 Abarth uses aerodynamic performance to its best advantage. It has a roof extension, large winged spoiler, as well as a slide that connects to the underbody and maximizing the output of airflow.

In fact, the rear bumper received major changes. The spoiler and slide are two elements that need to be emphasized as they help in reducing drag and improving grip at high speed. Moreover, the bumper’s front slits add to the sporty styling and are useful as well since they cool the twin intercoolers at the sides. Furthermore, both sides of the slide come with an exhaust pipe corresponding to the symmetrical exits of a lone silencer in a slanting position (this brand comes with the scorpion logo of the 60's).

The sideskirts on each side wrap the car’s curves to create a vertical profile and in turn, this enhances the Cd. However, it is the fascia that reveals that the 500 Abarth is equipped like a true GT, with air intake 'triptych' having a larger central inlet than the basic model, a lot broader upper slit on top of the number plate, and dual 'nostrils' symmetrically placed at each of the bumper’s sides corresponding to the location of the twin intercoolers that can be only seen through the nostrils.

These ensure inward and outward airflow. To create the space needed for the turboblower, the nose plus its trim has been pushed further, making the 500 Abarth’s side view more distinct and noticeable, in perfect harmony with the tradition of Abarth.

This is reminiscent of the 1000 TC and 850 TC that have the brand’s characteristic features such as the manifolds applied on the outside. The trim, which comes in one piece, is different from that of the Fiat 500. For the very first time, the Abarth logo does not have a chrome surround and it floats on a finned surface that lets in more air.

The Abarth shields on both sides are shot by means of a tri-color arrow, similar to that of the Abarth 595 and 695 in the ‘60s, symbolizing the brand’s racing image. Lastly, the 16-inch and 17-inch wheels are available in a wide range of styles, including multiple spokes and beading of bore holes (which is the style that forged wheels adopted in the ‘70s).

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