This Hayabusa-Powered Fiat 500 Is Exactly What the World Needs Today
The Fiat 500 isn’t a car that you’d consider a fast and powerful one. In its raciest form, the 500 boasts a 1.4-liter turbocharged MultiAir engine that produces 135 horsepower and 150 pound-feet of torque. Those are decent figures for a car that can do supermarket or drugstore runs, but it’s not exactly a car that can make a statement in a hill climb race.
So, what is there to do if you have a 500 and you want to run roughshod over whatever hill climb course you choose? You take a page out of Roman Gurschler’s playbook and you turn your cutesy 500 into a 4x4 monster.
Hoonigan Names New Female Racer For Fiat 124 Spider Abarth Rally Car
For the past few months, Hoonigan and Fiat have conducted a talent search to find the “Next Female Hoonigan” racer. Today, it was announced that the search was over and a winner has been found. Taking the title is Sara Price, a 24-year-old hot shoe hailing from Canyon Lake in Southern California. Price started in motocross racing before taking on trophy trucks and side-by-side racers, and will bring that experience to rally racing in the Hoonigan Fiat 124 competition machine.
Price managed to secure her ride by beating five other finalists in a three-month long competition, which started with more than 150 individual entries from across the nation. To take the win, Price first had to take a road trip to the Bob Bondurant School of High Performance Driving in Phoenix, Arizona, before continuing on to the Gridlife Music & Motorsports festival at Gingerman Raceway in South Haven Michigan. Eventually, Price showed she had what it took to be the next Hoonigan racer, and subsequently took the wheel of a 400-horsepower turbocharged Fiat 124 at the Mt. Washington hillclimb event in New Hampshire. Specs on the car include a six-speed pneumatic sequential transmission and anti-lag system, which is the right combo when tackling the 7.4 miles and 4,500 feet of elevation change at the hillclimb. Check out the video of Price’s run by hitting play above, including a glimpse at all the hard work it takes to run at the front at such a prestigious event.
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It hasn’t been long since Fiat unveiled the 124 Spider, a stylish roadster based on the fourth-generation Mazda MX-5. Now, word has it that the Italians are also planning a racing version for the World Rally Championship. If this proves to be true, the modern-day 124 Spider will follow in the exact footsteps of its predecessor, which also spawned a rally car, despite Fiat not offering a production coupe model. But, as exciting as it may sound, Abarth’s return to rallying is still a rumor as of December 2015.
It’s not because the Italian brand wouldn’t be able to turn the roadster into a tarmac-eating machine. The main problem is that a WRC-spec 124 Abarth currently has no class to race in, as the World Rally Championship has become a competition for superminis only.
In November 2015, Piston Heads reported — quoting sources close to Abarth — that the FIA is considering a new sports car category for the WRC. The class will be designed "to restore some petrolhead credibility to the series" and will allow larger vehicles, such as the Fiat 124 Spider, to race. For the uninitiated, WRC used to allow a wider range of cars in the 1970s and 1980s, from the Porsche 911 to the significantly larger, four-door Audi 200 Quattro.
We won’t find out whether FIA will indeed create a new class anytime soon, but the thought that Abarth might return to rallying is exciting to say the least. With that in mind, we decided to create a rendering of the Abarth 124 WRC and talk about as to what it might bring to the table. Find out more in my speculative review below.
Continue reading to learn more about the 2018 Abarth 124 Spider WRC.
It’s been only a few days since the Fiat 124 Spider debuted at the 2015 Los Angeles Auto Show, and word has it the Italian company is planning to tackle the World Rally Championship with a version of its new roadster. According to Piston Heads, the said race car will be based on the upcoming Abarth 124 Spider, which is expected to arrive sometime in 2017.
Abarth’s return to WRC is great news for rally enthusiasts, but things aren’t as smooth as they sound.
Given that the current World Rally Championship is contested by superminis and hatchbacks such as the Volkswagen Polo R WRC, Citroen DS3 WRC, Ford Fiesta RS WRC, and Hyundai i20 WRC, a vehicle the size of the Fiat 124 Spider wouldn’t be allowed to race. Piston Heads claims, however, quoting a source close to Abarth, that the car will compete in a new sports car category the FIA wants to introduce soon. The said class will be "designed to restore some petrolhead credibility to the series," by allowing larger vehicle to race.
Just like in the good old days.
The second issue here is that rally cars can’t be roadsters, and that’s exactly what the Abarth 124 Spider will be. So if Abarth is indeed looking to return to WRC it will have to build a coupe version. So, is this going to happen, or is it just one of those rumors that won’t live up to hype?
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If the title has you expecting a tribute to a charming little Italian compact, the car in the video is likely to surprise you. This is in fact a race car, built by Stanguellini using components from the Fiat 1100, but which bears essentially no resemblance whatsoever to look at. Not only that, but this particular one also has seriously modified bodywork, and therefore no longer even resembles the original race version. It is owned by a man who inherited it from his father, who had bought it 1955, and it already boasted an impressive racing history.
Mr. Lorenzoni uses the car to pay tribute to not only the era of racing when the car was used, but even the specific races that this particular car took part in. These were very different sorts of races, usually held on public roads, and it was watching the Parma-Poggio di Berceto go past his house as a child that first inspired his love of cars. He has been racing the car since 1977, participating in such events as the Targa Florio, Grand Prix of Naples, Grand Prix of Rome, and the Giro di Toscana. And it’s always great to see a classic car used exactly as it was intended.
To hear the term “Café Racer” placed on a four-wheeled vehicle may seem odd, as it is typically reserved for a stripped-down-for-speed motorcycle, but the Fiat 500 is so tiny that it almost fits. At the 2012 SEMA show, Fiat unveiled yet another concept version of its 500 model, and it bears that exact name: Café Racer.
The details are still incomplete yet, but Fiat has released a video on the Interwebz laying out what to expect. The Fiat 500 Café Racer will have all of its attention turned toward weight savings and aerodynamics. Adding to the aerodynamics of the 500’s body includes installing a set of lowering springs and chopping about 4 inches off of the 500’s overall height, giving airflow a much shorter path to the back end.
In terms of weight savings, Fiat installed aftermarket lightweight rims, shaved the door handles, installed Lexan glass, and even trimmed the exhaust system down to a side-exit setup. On the inside, Fiat stripped the 500 down to basically only the things you need to drive the car, leaving only a pair of very small, bomber-style seats up front.
In-tow behind the 500 will be a Café Racer motorcycle that dons the same silver paint job as its Fiat 500 tow vehicle. Hm, a Fiat 500 towing something; that’s a novel and almost funny concept in itself…
We are certain that there are plenty more modifications that will be announced at SEMA, so keep an eye out.
The Abarth 695 "Assetto Corse" launched by Abarth at the 2011 Bologna motor Show continues the tradition started by models like the 695 Tributo Ferrari and the Abarth 695 "Competizione". The difference is that it is an evolution of the Abarth 500 "Assetto Corse", a car that scored huge successes during the past three years of racing.
On the exterior, the new 695 "Assetto Corse" will be distinguished by an aggressive front decorated with a badge bearing the Abarth logo, a broader bumper completed with aerodynamic spoiler and screen-printed grilles. And as this is a track car the aerodynamics are very important so at the rear it has received a winged spoiler, a badge bearing the Abarth logo and a twin exhaust pipe. The package is completed by a new set of 17" light alloy racing wheels enriched with new floating, perforated and self-ventilated front disc brakes and perforated rear disc brakes.
The interior has been designed so that it offers the highest safety levels required by FIA regulations. The car gets a safety roll-bar, racing seat and a racing steering wheel, while the doors have been lightened by using Lexan for the side windows.
Under the hood Abarth has placed a 1368 cm3 turbocharged engine that delivers 205 HP of power.