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Centenary of Birth: Karl Abarth


16th November, 2008

Fiat Abarth 595 (late 1960s/early 1970s ???) Karl Abarth was born on 15th November, 1908. The young Karl Abarth was a sports car driver, constructor and tuner. But his great achievement was to make them accessible to everyone. One hundred years after his birth, these values remain intact in “his” cars. But above all, the passion of so many enthusiasts of engines and of sports cars continues.

This is why an exhibition was prepared at Torino Esposizioni, which traces the important steps in Karl Abarth’s life, from motor cycle racing to track records, silencers and tuning kits, culminating ideally in today’s cars, which are on show in the final part of the display.

Karl Abarth was first and foremost an innovator, who made technology and experimentation the great strengths of his work; this is why today's Abarth decided to prepare an exhibition that explored new forms of display. Visitors will be able to admire some of the most significant cars and objects in the history of Abarth and his brand, accompanied by audio-visual technologies and striking projections.

Key words such as innovation, technology, power and performance, which were valid for Abarth yesterday just as they are today, both for its own products and for those developed with other brands. And with this in mind, three important new products were presented on the inaugural evening of the exhibition. The first is the Abarth 500 “da 0 a 100”, a special, limited series designed to celebrate Karl Abarth’s centenary. This will be followed by important novelties designed in collaboration with prestigious partners: the FZ1 Abarth Assetto Corse Concept Bike developed with Yamaha and the Abarth Powerplay Extreme computer, which is powered by the new Intel® Core™ i7 Extreme processor, the most powerful microchip ever developed by Intel.

The "From 0 to 100"” exhibition is one of the many programmes organised during a calendar of events dedicated to Karl Abarth. The first of these events was an Open Day held on 26th and 26th October, which involved the 49 dealers in the Abarth marketing network all over Italy. This gave the general public an opportunity to enter the world of the Scorpion themselves, trying the cars, discovering the tuning kits and looking at the clothing and accessories collections sold under the Abarth trademark. Thanks in part to this event, the Abarth Italian network was able to confirm the success of the latest models, passing the set target with over 750 registrations in October.

The "Month of the Scorpion" will reach its peak today (local time), when two large events will be held: an Abarth “happening” in Turin, Italy, that will attract Abarth enthusiasts, and an Open Day dedicated to the brand new “esseesse” kit for the Abarth 500.

The first event will allow all “Abarthisti” to share their passion and to take a close look at new and historical models, the life story of the founder and also Abarth’s new 'home'. The appointment is fixed for the morning of 16th November at Torino Esposizioni, where participants will be able to try their hand at a number of activities on board the brand new Abarth 500 and Abarth 500 “esseesse”. They will also be able to visit the “from 0 to 100” exhibition, and to admire the powerful Abarth 500 Assetto Corse and Abarth Grande Punto Rally Super 2000. But the most exciting moment will be the Route Show, a parade of Abarth 500s that will start from Torino Esposizioni and terminate at the Mirafiori plant in Turin. Participants will also be able to visit the new Abarth & C Spa premises, which draw together all the manufacturing, design and management functions of the entire company, as well as the Squadra Corse team.

The Italian marketing network will be involved in an Open Day dedicated to the Abarth 500 “esseesse” kit. The “esseesse” kit is packed in the traditional elegant wooden box and it can be sold and installed exclusively by the Abarth official network of tuners, to guarantee the highest control and safety standards. With this kit, the 1.4 16v Turbo T-Jet engine achieves a maximum power output of 147 kW (160 bhp) at 5,750 rpm and, in “Sport Mode”, a peak torque of 230 Nm at 3,000 rpm. The result is exciting performance: a top speed of 211 km/h, and 0-100 km/h acceleration in some 7.4 seconds. Consistent with Abarth’s concept of performance tuning, the “esseesse” kit fits perforated, ventilated front disc brakes (diameter 284 mm x 22 mm), perforated rear disc brakes (diameter 240 mm x 11 mm), high performance front brake pads, specific springs set lower than those on the original car, Abarth “esseesse” 7” x 17” ET35 alloy wheels painted white or titanium colour, combined with Pirelli Pzero 205/40 ZR 17 tyres. The “esseesse” kit for the 500 Abarth is completed by the special air filter “powered by BMC”, four tyre pressure sensors, the “esseesse” logo on the engine cover and the tailgate, and a special, original key fob.

By the way, it seems as though Abarth no longer has Australia on their radar.

Other Abarth content: here.

Other Fiat content: here.

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