Archive for January, 2009

2009 Abarth Racing Team programme

Friday, January 23rd, 2009

During the 2009 season, the Abarth Team will be involved in the Intercontinental Rally Challenge and in the Italian Rally Championship with four official crews. Giandomenico Basso (with Mitia Dotta) and the young Finn Anton Alén (with Timo Alanne) will take part in the Intercontinental Rally Challenge. Luca Rossetti and his co-driver Matteo Chiarcossi, who will contest the Italian Rally Championship, will join the IRC team in some occasions – among which the Rallye Monte-Carlo -, as well as the young Umberto Scandola, co-driven by Guido D’Amore.

This line-up for the two championships blends the experience of Basso and Rossetti with the youth of Alén and Scandola.

Abarth Grande Punto S2000

Abarth Grande Punto S2000

The Abarth Grande Punto S2000 will start its fourth racing season and it has been fitted with some new technical features this year. The car has picked up many successes among which one IRC, one European and two Italian titles.

The Intercontinental Rally Challenge calendar includes 12 very prestigious events, the Rallye Monte-Carlo being the first of them, while the Italian Rally Championship consists of 10 rounds.


21-24 January Rallye Monte-Carlo
05-07 March Rally Internacional de Curitiba (Brazil)
03-04 April Safari Rally (TBC)
07-09 May Sata Rally Azores (Portugal)
18-20 June Ypres Rally (Belgium)
09-11 July Rally Russia
30 July-01 August Rali Vinho da Madeira (Portugal)
21-23 August Rally Zlín (Czech Republic)
10-12 September Rally Príncipe de Asturias (Spain)
24-26 September Sanremo Rally (Italy)
22-24 October Rally Japan
19-21 November Rally of Scotland (Glasgow)


08 March Rally del Ciocco
05 April Rally Adriatico
19 April Rally 1000 miglia
10 May Rally Targa Florio
20 June Rally San Marino
12 July Rally San Crispino
30 August Rally del Friuli
13 September Rally Costa Smeralda
27 September Rally Sanremo
23 October Rally Trophy ACI Como

New 500 Abarth esseesse kit installation video

Wednesday, January 21st, 2009

We’ve already seen the rather brief 500 Abarth esseesse kit installation video from Abarth, but the one we’ve been looking forward to is this one, from our Berlin friend Kristian Kopacsi:-

500 Abarth Esseesse kit installation video

The 5 min 32 sec video shows the installation of the esseesse kit in much greater detail, including a particularly nice sequence showing the replacement of the front brake discs.  Thanks, Kristian.

500 Abarth esseesse kit price

Friday, January 9th, 2009

The price of the 500 Abarth esseesse kit has been announced as £2,500 including VAT and fitting.  The cost of the kit itself is £2,150, but allowing for 4 hours labour takes the on-the-road cost to the £2,500 figure.

That makes a base 500 Abarth esseesse something in the region of £16,100, compared to, say, a Mini Cooper S at £16,575.

Remember, the 500 esseesse kit is much simpler than the Grande Punto Abarth’s esseesse kit – there’s no replacement turbo or associated ancillaries, for instance.

Technical details of the 500 Abarth esseesse are here.

Fiat 500 Abarth Esseesse

Fiat 500 Abarth Esseesse

500 Abarth UK prices confirmed

Thursday, January 8th, 2009

UK pricing for the new 500 Abarth has, apparently, been confirmed, although I’m still waiting to see a press release to this effect.  The base price of the car will be £13,600 on-the-road, and ordering for customer-spec cars officially opened this morning (21st January).

500 Abarth

New 500 Abarth

Yes, that’s more than the bigger and more powerful Grande Punto Abarth.  To my mind, that indicates that the price of the GPA will soon be increased to match, probably citing fluctuations in the Euro exchange rate.

The launch date is currently pencilled in for Saturday 7th February, although again this hasn’t been officially announced.  My recommendation would still be to delay delivery until after March 1st for the new ’09’ plate, though.

Most dealers will have taken delivery of their demonstrators by now (two each – one normal production, one to potentially be converted to Esseesse spec).

While we’d been expecting the first 200 cars into the UK to all be the same spec (white, red leather, red stripe and mirror kit, upgraded 17″ alloy wheels, climate control), it seems that most customers have been keen on ordering their own spec. To counter that, a number of speculatively-built cars of varying colours and specs will be available in the first batch, from which customers can choose should they match their own preferences.

It was also previously understood that the prices of the various options would match those of the standard 500 – that obviously makes sense, since they’re the same components, assembled on the same production line.

However, the latest information does seem to have a few oddities:-

Code Option Price
140 Climate control £260
195 50/50 Split folding rear seat £150
732 Leather Sports Interior £800
400 Electric “Sky Dome” sunroof £550
59E Fixed glass sunroof £325
410 Auto-dimming rear view mirror £100
54K Preparation for Blue&Me Nav with telemetry £15
55Y Blue&Me Nav w/telemetry £240
55E Five-hole 17″ alloy wheels with 205/40R17 tyres £175
4AY Ten-spoke 17″ alloy wheels with 205/40R17 tyres £175
802 “Funk White” Pearl Paint finish £700
5CE “Crossover Black” Metallic Paint finish £375
5CJ “Pasadoble Red” Special Paint finish £250
5JQ “Campovola Grey” Special Paint finish £250
4RR Chrome finish door mirrors £70
5HP Red checked roof £135
5HQ White checked roof £135
5HR Black checked roof £135
5HS Red Scorpion bonnet decal £75
5HT White Scorpion bonnet decal £75
5HU Black Scorpion bonnet decal £75
5HI Red Abarth Stripe & Mirrors £160
5HM White Abarth Stripe & Mirrors £160
5HN Black Abarth Stripe & Mirrors £160
5JK Alloy gear knob £50

Those prices list climate control, the fixed glass roof, and the checked roof as higher than the standard 500 – not by much, admittedly.

Now, get ordering!