Abarth may be known for its performance hatchbacks but this time, it is bent on proving its two-wheel expertise next week at the Motorcycle Live 2012, the largest motorbike show in the UK. The high performance car brand has worked wonders on the 500, 595, Punto Evo and Punto Evo Supersport models but it also has a long motorcycling heritage. In the 1920s and 1930s, Karl Abarth was a well-respected bike racer.
Did you know that the first vehicle to bear the Abarth name is a motorcycle that he designed and built himself in 1924? Karl Abarth dared the Orient Express train to race with him in 1934. Abarth won that race. At the motorbike show, Abarth’s stand is located at 3F61, Hall 3A. It will show off the newest version of the Abarth 595 Competizione, together with the ‘Scorpione’ motorcycle, made to honor Karl Abarth.
It was built by specialist constructor Attitude Customs. The stand will also offer the Abarth Racing Bug Experience, offering guests the opportunity to drive these special radio controlled models. Ivan Gibson, head of Abarth UK, said that it’s rare for a car manufacturer to appear at a bike show but it’s a “perfect fit” for Abarth because of its lengthy motorcycle history and background.
Staying true to the "small but wicked" reputation that Karl Abarth's cars earned in the 1960s, the new 2012 Fiat 500 Abarth is arriving in the United States with same formula that allowed it to achieve success in Europe. The formula includes global-class performance, aggressive styling and high power-to-weight ratio and limited-production volume.
Olivier Francois, Head of FIAT Brand and Chief Marketing Officer at Chrysler Group LLC, remarked that by bringing the 2012 Fiat 500 Abarth to the US, the carmaker could reach out to driving enthusiasts seeking for Italian performance at an accessible price. He quipped that the Fiat 500 Abarth – with its purpose-built design as well as track-tuned handling – promises to deliver the band’s iconic racing heritage. Derived from the new 2012 Fiat 500, the new Fiat 500 Abarth was developed to target driving purists as well as track-day enthusiasts – customers who are looking for a small car that combines high-performance and exotic Italian design.
Some of the reasons why the new Fiat 500 Abarth is considered a performance unit are the elements that are usually not found in a small car. For instance, it is powered by the new 1.4-liter MultiAir Turbo engine and comes with Abarth-tuned suspension and brake systems. It also features a race-inspired design as well as technologies usually seen on bigger units.
The new Fiat 500 Abarth features a new assertive design that truly represents the brand’s sporting direction. All added details have been designed to further make the small car a true performer, while boosting the already clean yet simple design language of the Cinquecento.