Italian Car Specialists - Fiat Abarth
Specializzati Automobilistica Italiana - Fiat Abarth
Abarth was founded by Carlo Abarth in Bologna in 1949. It utilised his astrological sign of Scorpio as the company logo.
The company specialised in high-performance exhaust systems and raced Cisitalia cars. Abarth later diversified into tuning kits for road vehicles, mainly for Fiats. They produced a racing exhaust for Lambretta models in the 1950s and original Abarth LD exhausts which are now valuable collector’s items.
In 1951 the company moved headquarters to Turin where Abarth began his long-standing association with Fiat, building the Abarth 1500 Biposto on a Fiat chassis.
Abarth found success throughout the 1960s winning hill climbs and sports car races, mainly in the 850 – 2000cc classes, competing against the likes of Porsche and Ferrari. Abarth also assisted in the build of sports and racing cars along with Porsche and Simca.
Fiat bought Abarth in 1971 and under the new ownregimeership Abarth became the Fiat Group's racing department, managed by engine designer Aurelio Lampredi. Abarth prepared Fiat's rally cars, including the Fiat 124 and 131 Abarth Rally.
Abarth, was then merged with the Squadra Corse Lancia developing the Lancia 037 rally car. This legendary model won six WRC rallies between 1982 and 1986 in the hands of Walter Röhrl and Markku Alén.
In 1981 Abarth ceased to exist and was replaced by Fiat Auto Gestione Sportiva, a division of the parent company specialising in the management of racing programmes that would remain in operation through to the end of 1999, when it changed to Fiat Auto Corse S.p.A.
Some commercial models built by Fiat or its subsidiaries Lancia and Autobianchi were co-branded Abarth, including the Autobianchi A112 Abarth, a popular model because it was light weight and inexpensive.
In the 1980s Abarth name was mainly used to mark performance cars, such as the Fiat Ritmo Abarth 125/130 TC. In 2000s, Fiat used the Abarth brand to designate a trim/model level, as in the Fiat Stilo Abarth. In 2007, Fiat Automobiles SpA relaunched the brand with the Grande Punto Abarth and the Grande Punto Abarth S2000.
Today you can buy the very latest Fiat 500 Abarth, Fiat 500C and Fiat Punto Evo variations of the breed bringing together Italian flair and design coupled with style and performance.
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