Abarth announces return to rallying with version of Abarth 124 Spider

2 Mar, 2016 9:35am Stuart Milne

300bhp Abarth 124 Rally unveiled at the Geneva Motor Show and will compete in 2017 FIA R-GT Series

Abarth is returning to the world’s rally stages after a 40-year break with this, the Abarth 124 Rally. The new car, shown alongside the world debut of the Abarth 124 Spider at the Geneva Motor Show, is homologated for the 2017 FIA R-GT series.

The 124 Rally is powered by a turbocharged 1,800cc double overhead cam engine developing 300bhp at 6,500rpm. It is mated to a six-speed sequential gearbox and a mechanical limited-slip differential. Abarth says performance is “scorching”, although no performance data has been revealed.

Although a hotter version of the Abarth 124 Spider road car is expected to be offered in the future, it won’t come close to replicating the rally car’s huge power output.

The 124 Rally is lighter than the road car and the car’s balance improved by shifting weight toward the rear. The engine sits behind the front axle and a composite hard top has replaced the soft-top with an air scoop. The standard car’s structural strength has been improved to meet FIA standards and a roll cage and Sabelt harnesses are fitted.

Slightly revised bumpers are fitted, and there a pair of protruding spotlights are fitted to the bonnet. The car’s front double wishbone and multi-link rear suspension have been recalibrated.

The project, codenamed SE139 references Sports and “Esperimental”, while 139 signifies the number of racing projects Abarth has completed – an average of two a year over the firm’s 67-year history.

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