The first factory-built 500 Abarth Asetto
Corse, which is set to form the basis of an
exciting new pan-European race series next
year, broke cover today as the Mille Miglia
gathered in Brescia.
factory-built 500 Abarth Asetto Corse, which is set to
form the basis of an exciting new pan-European race
series next year, broke cover today as the Mille Miglia
gathered in Brescia.
edition of the hugely popular Mille Miglia historical
re-run gets underway in earnest tomorrow evening, and a
very warm and sunny Brescia was buzzing today as the
mouth watering collection of classic racing cars were
prepared for the start, which traditional takes place in
the historic main square of this city, the second
largest in the Lombardy region, and which lies right at
the foot of the Alps, as well as North East of Milan.
Automobiles is a major sponsor of the legendary race
this year and three of the brands, Alfa Romeo, Lancia
and Abarth, are closely involved in the event. In the
'sponsor park' area Alfa Romeo and Abarth are both
present, and the latter took the opportunity to show off
the 500 Abarth Asseto Corse in public for the first
time, lining it up on a crisp red-and-white themed stand
alongside the production 500 Abarth and an immaculately
restored historic 695 Abarth.
units of the 500 Abarth Asseto Corse will be built at
the Scorpion brand's new headquarters, Officine 83, at
Mirafiori, over the rest of this year and the little rocket is destined to run in a
one make championship which gets underway next year and which will take it onto
the most famous race tracks across Europe, such as Monza, the
Nürburgring and Silverstone. The car on show in Brescia
today is the prototype for the limited run, and a dashboard
plaque reveals it to be numbered 00/49.
With a wild
front spoiler, a big roof spoiler, a bonnet slashed with
air vent cut outs and a huge mesh covered 'mouth', the
500 Abarth Asseto Corse looks stunning and attracted a
big crowd as it basked in the beautiful May sunshine. For this
application the Abarth engineers have taken the gutsy
1.4 (1368cc) litre 16v petrol engine and squeezed even
more power out of it, taking output up to an impressive
200 bhp at 6,500 rpm; while peak torque comes in at 300
Nm at 3,000 rpm. The engine uses a Garrett GT1446 fixed
geometry turbo and power is shifted to the wheels
through a 6-speed gearbox (M32). At the same time the
500's weight has come down thanks to the disposal of the
normal road car's interior and cockpit refinements.
Abarth Asseto Corse has height adjustable race
suspension all round, and under the bonnet the remote
dampers' fluid reservoirs can be clearly seen. The front brakes
are chunky Brembo four-pots (M4x40) with 305x28mm ventilated and
drilled discs, while at the rear sliding brakes feature
36mm pistons and 264x11mm discs. It sits on 7x17 alloy
race wheels shod with 205/50-15 tyres.
a full race roll cage and a lightened body structure which brings the
weight down to 930 kg, while all the usual safety refinements
feature. The weight saving exercise was dramatically
illustrated by the light feel of its featherweight
doors, a big contrast compared to the road car's.
All the 49
planned examples are being sold directly by the factory in Turin
and reports suggest that more than half the run have been sold
before the car was even seen. Abarth engineers fired the
prototype up today and the sound was amazing,
enthusiastic observers delighted by the jet-fighter
volume of the sound.