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Price confirmed for new Abarth 500C with manual transmission

Friday, July 1st, 2011

Pricing for the new Abarth 500C convertible sports car, with manual gearbox, has just been announced – and it’s cheaper than the current car with ‘Competizione’ paddle-shift transmission.

This is the latest new version to join the well-established Abarth line-up, launched in the UK in July 2008. The sports brand continues to find new fans in the form of enthusiast drivers wishing to express themselves through their choice of car.

In keeping with Abarth’s philosophy of ‘Making the Ordinary Extraordinary’, Abarth has taken the convertible model and added the option of a five speed manual transmission, for those drivers who do not wish to take advantage of the ‘Competizione’ box.

About 500C with manual transmission available now priced at £16,856

About 500C with manual transmission available now priced at £16,856

Priced at £16,856 OTR, the Abarth 500C manual represents outstanding value for money – it’s around £1,000 cheaper than the automatic version. Along with a stylish electric hood with glass rear window, and third brake light incorporated into the spoiler, the car receives, as standard, a host of other equipment.

This includes seven airbags, xenon headlights, TTC (torque transfer control), parking sensors, Blue&Me hands-free telecommunications system, leather steering wheel and alloy wheels. A full range of options includes automatic climate control, leather sports interior, bi-colour paint, red brake callipers and coloured Abarth side stripes and mirrors.

Proof that the 500C is a true Abarth comes in the form of its 135bhp 1.4 16v Turbo T-Jet engine, which provides the convertible with a top speed of 128mph and a 0-62mph time of 7.9 seconds. But the frugal unit returns 43.5mpg fuel economy on the combined cycle and has a CO2 figure of 155 g/km.

The car features Dualdrive electrically assisted power steering with ‘Sport Mode’ while stopping is courtesy of front (ventilated) and rear disc brakes.

“With the choice between hatchback and convertible versions and in manual or Competizione form, we now have an Abarth 500 to suit all requirements and driving conditions,” says Ivan Gibson, head of Abarth in the UK. “And with the option to take on the 160bhp esseesse specification, open top performance motoring has never been more accessible.”

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2011 Trofeo Abarth 500 GB Calendar announced

Monday, January 17th, 2011

Abarth is presenting its sporting activities for the 2011 season at the Autosport International Racing Car Show in Birmingham this week (13-16 January). The coming season will be marked by the continued involvement of the Abarth 500 Assetto Corse in the Abarth 500 GB Trophy.

This championship, starring the 190 bhp Abarth 500 Assetto Corse, is in its second year and will take place over six events, one of which is abroad − the Belgian circuit of Spa-Francorchamps − which also counts towards the Abarth 500 European Trophy.

The formula for the UK Trophy includes two races at each event. Abarth is pleased to announce that the championship is set to start at Oulton Park (23 and 25 April), moving on to the new Snetterton 300 Circuit (25-26 June), Brands Hatch GP (22-24 July), Spa (7 August), Brands Hatch Indy (3-5 September) and finishing at Donington on 29 October.

The promotion of the Abarth 500 GB Trophy will again be managed by Paolo Callea.

The Abarth 500 European Trophy is also continuing this year, featuring six events held at Valencia, Misano, Hockenheim, Mugello, Monza and Spa-Francorchamps, the latter also counting towards the GB Trophy – a great opportunity for British drivers, who have a chance to grab the limelight in an international series.

The 190 bhp Abarth 500 Assetto Corse is assembled in the Abarth racing department. It is equipped with a sturdy roll cage, an anatomic racing driver’s seat, and a six-point safety harness, along with all the other equipment demanded by the regulations. In terms of mechanical features, the chassis has a specific set-up with racing springs and adjustable shock absorbers, teamed with 17” alloy wheels, an exhaust suited for racing, and oversized, more powerful brakes.

These are all components which make the Abarth 500 Assetto Corse a racing car capable of providing the utmost satisfaction for both expert and novice drivers.

Abarth activities outside the UK concentrate on the championships reserved for the Abarth 500 and Formula Abarth, an experience-building single-seater car powered by a 1400 cc turbocharged Abarth engine which was extremely successful during its first season, in 2010, tempting young foreign drivers to the Italian Championship.

This year, the Formula Abarth Championships and the Abarth 500 Trophies will be organised in Italy and across Europe, with the same calendar for both series.

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Koni FSD damper kits for Abarth 500

Friday, October 15th, 2010

The Koni FSD (“Frequency Selective Damping”) dampers announced as part of the esseesse kits for both Abarth 500C and Abarth Punto Evo, are now available to buy separately.

Abarthisti have managed to secure a number of kits at the special price of £549 inc. VAT – a saving of more than £120 over the usual retail price.

The Koni FSD technology uses a revolutionary new technique to combine the benefits of firm and comfortable suspension in a single perfect shock absorber: firm for sporty driving on even road surfaces, comfortable for a smooth ride on uneven road surfaces.

This new feature is an integrated part of the hydraulic valving system inside the damper. Consequently, there are no additional cables, sensors, or any other electronic devices needed to operate this system.

Koni FSD damper kits for Abarth 500

Koni FSD damper kits

The kits are available to buy now from the Abarthisti Shop.

Kits for the Abarth Punto Evo and Abarth Grande Punto are expected to follow soon.

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Abarth at the 2010 Paris International Motor Show

Tuesday, September 14th, 2010

Carlo Abarth loved to call himself a “creator of cars that are tuned, not prepared”. It was not by chance that his first commercial success came with a tuning kit for the Fiat Topolino launched at the beginning of the 1950s. Since then, the Abarth brand philosophy has remained the same: to convert special items into extraordinary products.

Bolstered by the success of the recent conversion kits (one Abarth 500 in three is converted using the official kit), Abarth has expanded its range by launching the world premiere of the esseesse kits for the new Abarth 500C and Abarth Punto Evo models in Paris. These are designed to improve performance, handling and safety without having to sacrifice the car’s low emissions and fuel consumption.

The stand will host two esseesse cars that perfectly illustrate the spirit of Abarth tuning, encapsulating substance and unassuming good looks: in accordance with brand tradition and market requirements, Abarth cars are a mix of sporty yet elegant looks and safe driving experience, yet always with sporty performance levels.

Abarth Punto Evo esseesse

The Abarth Punto Evo esseesse is in fact capable of 180 HP with truly thrilling performance levels: maximum torque of 270 Nm at 3000 rpm, top speed of 216 km/h and acceleration from 0-100 km/h in just 7.5 seconds. The esseesse kit for the 500C turns the scorpion-branded convertible into a genuine open-topped sports car: 160 HP, maximum torque of 230 Nm, top speed of 209 km/h and acceleration from 0-100 km/h in just 7.6 seconds.

The Abarth Punto Evo esseesse

The Abarth Punto Evo esseesse

The Abarth Punto Evo esseesse is exhibited with a Campovolo Grey body, named after the airfield, still operational today, that is located opposite the company’s historic headquarters in Corso Marche, Turin. This was where the young Karl Abarth used to buy paint for his cars, the very same Campovolo grey shade used for aircraft. In detail, the Abarth Punto Evo on show combines this particular colour with an Abarth band in the body shade and 18’’ alloys in a special titanium-coloured esseesse design. Inside, the car features Abarth Corse by Sabelt seats in black leather with a distinctly sporty design and an Abarth Blue&MeTM MAP satellite navigation system complete with telemetrics developed with Magneti Marelli.

More detail about the Abarth Punto Evo esseesse kit is available here: Abarth Punto Evo esseesse.

Abarth 500C esseesse

The Abarth 500C esseesse on the other hand, comes with an elegant Campovolo grey and Pista grey two-tone livery with a white chromatic liner, an element that divides and at the same time combines the two ‘souls’ of the car: the elegance of a cabriolet above and the out-and-out sporty performance of the esseesse kit below. The 500C esseesse is exhibited with an original Record Monza exhaust silencer (dual mode with variable counterpressure) that enhances the engine sound above 4000 rpm and, as on the Punto Evo, with an Abarth Blue&MeTM MAP satellite navigation system with telemetrics.

The Abarth 500C esseesse

The Abarth 500C esseesse

More detail about the Abarth 500C esseesse is available here: Abarth 500C esseesse.

These two models may be very different but they share a single spirit, the sporting spirit of the Abarth scorpion logo, which has proved itself capable of igniting the passion of thousands of motorists with a taste for challenge, performance and Italian style. In the words of the advertising slogan “More power to your senses”, on an Abarth car all your senses are stimulated to the maximum. The perception is further amplified by the two kits that guarantee even more driving performance and adrenaline: all in all, the Abarth conversion kits represent empowerment taken to its highest levels.

The Parisian stage also offers an opportunity to admire some new products created for the Abarth 500 saloon: the stand will exhibit a model in the new Record Grey shade, with tobacco coloured leather interiors and super-sporty 17’’ alloys with 5 diamond shaped spokes against an anthracite background. This mixture of sportiness and good looks is inspired by the heritage of a brand that will once again satisfy customers who seek a high-performance car that is also elegant.

Abarth 500 in Record Grey

Abarth 500 in Record Grey

The Paris 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. To date, approximately 1600 Abarth 500C and nearly 1300 Abarth Punto Evo cars have been sold: these numbers bear witness to the warm welcome extended to these two cars and will certainly contribute to the already excellent results recorded since the brand was relaunched. Suffice to say that since 2007 the brand has enjoyed continual growth, as evidenced by sales of nearly 28,000 for the Abarth Grande Punto and Abarth 500 models in addition to approximately 6000 performance kits designed for the two models.

The Abarth 695 Tributo Ferrari has also met with great success. This is the fastest and highest performing road-going 500 ever, arising out of a joint venture between Abarth and Ferrari, based on shared values that include a passion for performance, a racing soul, attention to detail and Italian style. This numbered and limited special series has been marketed from July and has already notched up more than 600 orders; more than half of which are from countries such as United Kingdom, France and Germany.

The Abarth 695 "Tributo Ferrari"

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 is extending to other international markets such as Israel, Rumania, Cyprus, Lebanon, Finland and Australia.

The growth in Abarth’s sporting activities was also constant in 2010, consolidating the brand’s presence both in rallies and on the track, in Italy and throughout Europe. As far as rallies are concerned, two official teams are competing with success in the Italian Championship with Abarth Grande Punto S2000 cars, while the RALLY version of the Abarth 500 has led to the advent of the Abarth 500 Rally Selenia Trophy. Track activities have also 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 by a championship reserved for single-seater Formula Aci-Csai-Abarth cars 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. In 2011, great expectations surround the debut of the single-seater car in Europe, with the Formula Abarth European Championship.

Last but not least, Abarth returns to the Paris 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 the 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.

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The Abarth Punto Evo esseesse

Tuesday, September 14th, 2010

The Abarth Punto Evo esseesse kit allows the 1.4 16v Turbo MultiAir power unit to achieve a maximum power of 180 HP (132 kW) at 5750 rpm and in Sport mode, a maximum torque of 270 Nm at 3000 rpm. The result is truly thrilling performance: top speed is 216 km/h with acceleration from 0-100 km/h in just 7.5 seconds. Even once the kits have been installed, the CO2 emissions guaranteed by the MultiAir remain unchanged (142 g/km) to ensure that the car maintains its Euro 5 compliance.

The Abarth Punto Evo esseesse

The Abarth Punto Evo esseesse

Consistent with Abarth’s concept of performance tuning in utmost safety, the esseesse kit includes perforated, ventilated front disc brakes (diameter 305 mm x 28 mm), perforated rear disc brakes (diameter 264 mm x 11 mm), high performance front brake pads, front and rear Koni shock absorbers with FSD valve, specific red springs set lower than those on the original car, Abarth esseesse 7” x 18” ET39 alloy wheels painted white or titanium, combined with 215/40 ZR18 tyres.

The make-up of the conversion kit for the Abarth Punto Evo is completed by a special “powered by BMC” air filter, an Abarth silencer with twin tail pipes, and esseesse badges for the engine cover and tailgate.

The Abarth Punto Evo esseesse

The Abarth Punto Evo esseesse

The esseesse Kit for the Abarth Punto Evo is due to go on sale from December in all European markets.

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The Abarth 500C esseesse

Tuesday, September 14th, 2010

The kit for the Abarth 500C tunes the 1.4 16v Turbo T-Jet power unit to achieve a maximum power of 160 HP (117 kW) at 5750 rpm and in Sport mode, a maximum torque of 230 Nm at 3000 rpm with the performance of an out-and-out sports car: top speed is 209 km/h with acceleration from 0-100 km/h in just 7.6 seconds. As with the Punto Evo, the 500C maintains its Euro 5 compliance even once the kit has been installed, with CO2 emissions equal to 151 g/km.

The Abarth 500C esseesse

The Abarth 500C esseesse

Safety is always the focus with Abarth tuning, as evidenced by the upgrading of the braking system and adjusted ride: the esseesse kit for the 500C includes perforated, ventilated front disc brakes (diameter 284 mm x 22 mm), perforated rear disc brakes (diameter 240 mm x 11 mm), high performance front brake pads, front and rear Koni shock absorbers with FSD valve, specific red springs set lower than those on the original car, Abarth esseesse 7” x 17” ET35 alloy wheels painted white or titanium, combined with 205/40 ZR17 tyres.

The conversion kit for the Abarth 500C also includes four sensors to record correct tyre pressure, a special “powered by BMC” air filter and esseesse badges for the engine cover and tailgate.

The Abarth 500C esseesse

The Abarth 500C esseesse

The esseesse kit for the Abarth 500C is due to go on sale from October in all European markets.

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Ferrari drivers Alonso and Massa both receive an Abarth 695 Tributo Ferrari

Friday, September 10th, 2010

Two Abarth 695 Tributo Ferrari, the fastest ever road-going 500s, were handed over to Ferrari team drivers Fernando Alonso and Felipe Massa this morning in the splendid setting of Villa Reale in Monza.

Ferrari drivers Alonso and Massa both receive an Abarth 695 Tributo Ferrari

Ferrari drivers Alonso and Massa both receive an Abarth 695 Tributo Ferrari

The new Abarth 695 Tributo Ferrari confirms the consolidated links between Abarth and Ferrari – links based on shared values that include a passion for performance, a racing soul, attention to detail and Italian style.

Superb performance is guaranteed by a 1.4 Turbo T-Jet 16v engine, tuned to develop 180 HP. This is combined with an electrically operated Abarth competition gearbox with a race-inspired paddle gearshift to reduce shift times and make full use of engine performance.

The cars are finished in Scuderia red with Racing grey details and are enhanced with carbon fibre parts like mirror covers and gear quadrant.

A numbered and limited special series of these cars went on sale in July and has already notched up more than 600 orders, more than half of which are for export to countries like the United Kingdom, France and Germany.

A dedicated website, http://www.abarth695tributoferrari.com/, went on line today, confirming Abarth’s determination to support and promote this exclusive project internationally.

Karl Abarth and Enzo Ferrari were two great names whose passion and dedication helped create the legend of Italian motor racing that is the universally recognised today. The men behind both marques followed very similar careers: first drivers, then tuners and finally heads of companies that command genuine respect in the world of motor racing.

Ferrari and Abarth are together again today as they were in the past, with Ferrari’s two F1 drivers Massa and Alonso behind the wheels of two brand new Abarth 695 Tributo Ferrari.

Ferrari drivers Alonso and Massa both receive an Abarth 695 Tributo Ferrari

Ferrari drivers Alonso and Massa both receive an Abarth 695 Tributo Ferrari

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Two years with an Abarth Grande Punto

Thursday, September 2nd, 2010

I’ve owned my Abarth Grande Punto for nearly two years now, and in that time, I’ve only managed to clock up a feeble 9,500 miles.

I think it’s fair to say I’ve had a few ‘issues':-

  • Abarth side-stripes replaced due to poor application by supplying dealer
  • Rattling C-pillar interior trim fixed with foam padding
  • Exterior trim at base of windscreen replaced after coming adrift
  • Plastic wheel-arch liner replaced (twice) after coming adrift
  • Front passenger seat replaced after stitching failed
  • Driver’s door replaced due to failed seam weld
  • Front suspension top-mounts failed four times

A few other issues have popped up along the way, too, but have either never been resolved, or I’ve just learnt to live with them – a rattling passenger seat mount, and the ubiquitous knocking door latches, for example.

There are plenty of design ‘faults’ that continue to infuriate me – the useless windscreen washers, the sun visors that won’t stay put, the lack of a cancel button for the cruise control, the uncommunicative steering, plus a few other niggles.

However (and probably to the amazement of most other Abarth owners), I’ve never had a single problem with Blue&Me.  And, although my brakes squeal occasionally, it really doesn’t bother me.

I’ve averaged 34mpg (according to the trip computer), and had one service (£253).  There’s plenty of life left in my tyres, too.

So, what now?  I think I feel a change coming on…

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Blue&Me TomTom for Abarth Punto Evo

Tuesday, August 3rd, 2010

The new Abarth Punto Evo comes as standard with a dedicated port for a new satellite navigation solution jointly developed by Fiat and TomTom.

The port, which carries its own power, allows the new Blue&Me TomTom to be mounted securely on top of the dashboard without the need for bulky windscreen mounts or trailing wires.

Blue&Me TomTom for Abarth Punto Evo

Blue&Me TomTom for Abarth Punto Evo

The system also integrates with the car’s Blue&Me system, and can be controlled via the steering wheel-mounted buttons.  The system can even warn you if you have insufficient fuel to complete your jouney, and can then direct you to the nearest petrol station. Routes are calculated using TomTom’s IQ Routes technology which uses real-world data collected from millions of journeys regarding rush hours, traffic lights, schools and shopping crowds.

The new Blue&Me TomTom for Punto Evo is available to buy now from the Abarthisti shop for £259.99.

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Kappa Abarth merchandise now available to buy from Abarthisti

Tuesday, August 3rd, 2010

The new range of official Abarth merchandise by Kappa is now available to buy from the Abarthisti Shop.

The range includes items such as the utterly fantastic Abarth Squadra Corse by Kappa Men’s Jacket in white – windproof, water-repellent, stainless and breathable, incorporating four layers of comfort bonded fabric and Kappa Cold Buster® technology:

Abarth Squadra Corse by Kappa Men's Jacket

Abarth Squadra Corse by Kappa Men's Jacket

…and the Abarth Squadra Corse by Kappa Men’s Fleece in white, made from 100% Cotton with elastic rib borders, embroidered logos and applied felted patches:

Abarth Squadra Corse by Kappa Men's Fleece

Abarth Squadra Corse by Kappa Men's Fleece

There’s also a pair of Kappa caps, in a choice of grey or white:

Abarth Cap in Grey, Abarth by Kappa

Abarth Cap in Grey, Abarth by Kappa

There are 24 new Kappa Abarth items in total, comprising jackets, fleeces, T-shirts, shorts, trousers, belts, caps, available in both men’s and ladies’ sizes, plus the existing range of Abarth merchandise.

Head on over to the Abarthisti Shop to see the full range.

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