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Sponsored feature: 7 facts about Abarth to blow you away

30th Jun 2017 5:17 pm

Here's a close look at the history of Fiat's Abarth performance brand.


Racing heritage:
Over 10,000 individual race victories, 10 world records and 133 international titles are part of the racing heritage behind the Abarth marque.

2) Early days:
The company was founded by Carlo Abarth and Armando Scagliarini in Bologna. The company's main activity was producing aftermarket accessories and performance parts for production cars. Abarth produced high-performance exhaust pipes, diversifying into tuning kits for road vehicles, mainly for Fiat.

3) Collectors' items:
A racing exhaust was produced for the 1950s Lambretta models D and LD. Original Abarth LD exhausts are now valuable collectors' items.

4) Sign of Scorpio:
The company's famous scorpion badge came from Carlo Abarth's astrological sign, Scorpio.

5) Abarth coffee:
Abarth entered everyday language in its native Italy to mean power. Customers in cafes and restaurants would not ask for a strong coffee, or a coffee with a shot of alcohol, but instead ask for an "Abarth coffee".


6) First Fiat Abarth:
When Fiat released the new 500 Cinquecento in 1958 to meet the post-war market demand for inexpensive and practical motoring, Carlo Abarth saw other uses for the Fiat 500. Abarth took a standard Fiat 500 and gave it the full Abarth treatment. This included raising the compression ratios on the small 479 cc engine, fitting a Weber 26 IMB carburetor, optimizing the fuel and intake systems and adding a full Abarth sports exhaust system. The combined result dramatically improved the handling and doubled the horsepower from 13 to 26. The car's exterior remained largely unchanged, apart from having wider wheels and tires and some discrete Abarth branding.

7) Abarth motorcycles:
Yes, the Abarth badge can be found on motorcycles too. The 2017 Yamaha XSR900 Abarth, is a limited-edition high-performance retro bike. The Abarth spec Yamaha gets a carbon-fibre nose cowl, and a rear seat cowling, handlebars that are low-slung 'clip-on style', traction control, a slipper clutch, and an Akrapovic titanium exhaust. It's a rare Abarth, since only 695 motorcycles were built. But this is not the first time Yamaha has collaborated with Abarth. In 2008 they created the Yamaha FZ1 Abarth Assetto Corse Concept bike to mark the 100th birthday of the Italian firm's founder Carlo Abarth.

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