Abarth is continuing its tradition of building accessible competition machinery with the unveiling of its new Abarth 500 R3T rally car.
Revealed for the first time at this month's 51st San Remo Rally, the Abarth 500 R3T will feature in a one-make rallying trophy in 2010. The European and Italian Trophies for the Abarth 500 Assetto Corse circuit racer will continue.
For Abarth, the new car marks a return to a discipline in which it has been present for more than 30 years. Starting in 1977 with the first edition of the Autobianchi A112 Abarth Championship, Abarth continued with the Fiat Uno, Uno Turbo, Cinquecento, Seicento, Punto Kit and Super 1600, Stilo and Panda Kit Trophies.
The Abarth 500 rally car will be homologated in group R3T, a category reserved for supercharged cars with a maximum cylinder capacity of 1600cc. This class represents good value through its cost/performance ratio and is ideal for privateers and young drivers wishing to showcase their talent at the wheel of a high-performance car.
The Abarth 500 R3T's 1368cc engine is fitted with a Garrett GT 1446 fixed geometry turbocharger, delivering 180bhp (132kW) at 5500rpm. It is equipped with a 6-speed sequential gearbox, a self-locking blade differential, twin disc clutch and special half-shafts.
Attention has been paid to the possibility of adjusting the suspension to adapt the set-up to suit different surfaces and drivers' styles. Four Brembo disc brakes - ventilated at the front, solid at the rear - with an adjustable split system, provide the stopping power. The car also features a hydraulic hand brake.
The 1080kg Abarth 500 is fitted with a specific welded-in roll-cage integrated to the body shell, FIA homologated seats with 6-point harnesses and other necessary safety devices.
"Abarth's ability to produce high quality racing and rallying machinery has never been in question," says Ivan Gibson, manager, Abarth brand UK. "We have already seen how good the Abarth 500 race car is, and I am looking forward to watching this new rally car perform."
The calendar for the Abarth rally trophy will be published later this year.Published 1 October 2009