Scuderia Fiat 500?

Published on September 11th, 2009

They say the past makes our future and memories are the lessons that prepare us for it. In that case, nostalgia was the key ingredient in the auto industry’s recent revival of classics like the Mini and Detroit’s CPR onto the frail muscle car body to bring back the likes of the Ford Mustang and more recently the Chevy Camaro and Dodge Challenger.

 

Not ones to sit still and watch the Conti’s and Yanks pull a slaughter over them, the Italians retaliated by whipping out a modern day interpretation of the iconic Fiat 500. Acting on the same script, Fiat’s internal racing department, Abarth took the cue and souped up the 500 to give us the mouth-watering 500 Abarth that cranks out a respectable 135hp.

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However, the fumes of speed make a quick climb to the mind of a petrol head and for those that figured the 500 Abarth didn’t scar your taste buds enough, the boffins at Abarth have decided to tip their hats to sister company Ferrari and take a couple of leaves out of the Prancing Horse race guide to give us the 695 Tributo Ferrari.

 

The 1.4-litre turbo engine has had its power cranked up to an insane 180hp and although the transmission remains the same, the interior gets paddle shifters for the six-speeder to give drivers that same feeling of flipping gears like its supercar brethren does Formula-1 style, minus the lightning cog-switching times of course.

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Instead of the Abarth White, the body is finished in Scuderia Red with matching shaded Brembo calipers clamp down on cross-drilled rotors beneath the weavy alloys.

 

Whispers from the upper echelons of automotive journalism say Ferrari itself was pulled a favour card and asked to retune the suspension setup to cope with the immense power. One of the pros of having a super car maker under the same umbrella we say.

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No echoes on how many of these lovelies will be built or even if it will find its way to showroom floors at all yet. Finally, something Italian that isn’t a super car but evokes the exact emotions as its bigger and more powerful countrymen. Of course this 500 might lack the exoticness of its sister company but it has something up its diminutive sleeve that the others lack in abundance, plain old charm.

 

Source: autoexpress.co.uk

text: Dinesh Appavu  pix: Abarth

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