18.04.2011 MID ENGINED ABARTH 500 PRESENTED AT TOP MARQUES MONACO

ABARTH 500 MOTORE CENTRALE R230 LUCARELLI MONZA - 2011 TOP MARQUES MONACO
ABARTH 500 MOTORE CENTRALE R230 LUCARELLI MONZA - 2011 TOP MARQUES MONACO
ABARTH 500 MOTORE CENTRALE R230 LUCARELLI MONZA - 2011 TOP MARQUES MONACO

New tuning upstart Lucarelli Monza has got its self out of the blocks in the most dramatic fashion, creating the completely reworked Abarth 500 "Motore Centrale" R230 which received its public debut at the weekend at the Top Marques Monaco show.

New tuning upstart Lucarelli Monza has got its self out of the blocks in the most dramatic fashion, creating the completely reworked Abarth 500 "Motore Centrale" R230 which received its public debut at the weekend at the Top Marques Monaco show.

The company was the brainchild of engineer Lucarelli who said his aim "was to transfer to the customers the same feelings, scents and passions that led him to conceptualise, design, build and especially enjoy the cars. The spirit of the brand is to differentiate from others, sometimes daring, but above all to make products without too many compromises, and with excellent results." The company also adds: "The line to follow is very clear: to design the best cars on the market first and foremost at the level of performance and driving pleasure, and then look, exclusivity and security. Lucarelli Monza does not like flashy cars, but quick, light, elegant, exclusive and comfortable ones.''

In developing the Abarth 500 "Motore Centrale" R230, Lucarelli Monza has created a real head turner which the company sees as being directly inspired by two-seater, mid-engined sports cars: as well as the engine being moved from the front to the middle of the tiny car and feeding its power straight through the rear wheels, there is an all-new rear wishbone based suspension arrangement which is fully adjustable (the MacPherson struts set up is retained at the front), as well as there being the high levels of comfort associated with a luxurious sports car. The company has also roped in a list of partners that are leaders in their niches to provide their own brand of expertise: Bilstein, Kumho, K&N, Eibach, Aznom, Quaife, Garrett and Center Techno Freno.

The result, says Lucarelli Monza, is a compact high-performance, lightweight, balanced and responsive car with excellent traction. The engine, which is mounted in a new frame incorporated into the rear of the bodyshell, has been profoundly altered both electronically and mechanically. A new, larger Garrett turbo has been installed along with different injectors, forged pistons, a large intercooler and a new catalytic convertor with 200 cells. These changes allow the engine to reach a claimed 230 CV and 330 Nm of torque, with a total weight of just 1050 kg meaning that performance is impressive: 0 to 100 km/h arrives in a claimed 4.7 seconds and maximum speed is a claimed 240 km/h. Abarth's Fiat Powertrain-sourced C510, fitted with an electronic LSD, is retained which does mean an awful lot of torque (a claimed 330 Nm) will be fed through its internals. The braking system meanwhile features large ventilated discs all round: 335 mm at the front and 305 mm at the rear coupled with four radial calipers with 4 pots made from billet aluminium.

Externally the 500 "Motore Centrale" R230 can be easily be differentiated by large new air intakes fitted into the rear 3/4 panel sections. Meanwhile inside, the cockpit has been luxuriously trimmed in a blend of Frau leather and Alcantara by another Monza-based specialist company, Aznom. Exclusivity will be represented by the limited production that envisions thirty numbered pieces in a year being built, all of which will be customised according to individual buyer's requirements.

However Lucarelli Monza isn't stopping with the Abarth 500 "Motore Centrale" R230 as also under development is the "Motore Centrale R280 Pista", an even more extreme version of the Scorpion supermini designed primarily for track day use but which will also be road homologated. In this exclusive version luxury and comfort has been rowed back in the pursuit of lower weight and higher performance. Power will climb by a further 50 CV to 280 CV while the jettisoning the unnecessary interior components means an extra 100 kg will be shaved off the weight, dropping it to 950 kg. The transmission will feature a Quaife limited slip differential set up for track use while also included will be an FIA-specification roll cage, data acquisition system and fully adjustable shock absorbers and suspension. The use of carbon fibre for some of the body panels and seat frames as well as the elimination of all the components that are not strictly necessary, along with the new power output of 280 CV, will drop the 0 to 100km/h time to an estimated 3.9 seconds while top speed will nudge up to 260 km/h.
 

2011 Interfuture Media/Italiaspeed