Abarth is best known for being to Fiat what M-division is to BMW or AMG is to Mercedes, which is take production cars and tune them from speed. That’s all about to change asAbarth is building its own car...sort of. Abarth and Lotus signed a secret deal that allows the Italian maker to use the next Elise’s platform.

The model is set to be released in 2011. It will use Fiat Group’s new-generation of turbo-charged, direct-injection, air-valve four-cylinder engines. With an output of around 240 hp and a weight around 1980 lbs, the car will be a lightweight competitor on the sports car market.

The new architecture will first be used in the Elise that is set to be released in 2010 and then by Abarth after less than a year. This will not be the first time Lotus loaned the Elise’s chassis for a new car. The Euro-only Vauxhall VX220/Opel Speedster was a bigger brother to the Elise from 2000 to 2005.

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Source: AutoCar

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