At the Geneva International Motor Show, the Scorpion brand celebrates the 70th anniversary of its foundation, a milestone in motorsports history. The stars of the stand are the new Abarth 595 esseesse and the Abarth 124 Rally Tribute limited edition, both authentic expressions of the brand's racing soul and its glorious motorsports history.
The first car is a homage to the legendary Sixties tuning kit, successfully reprised in 2009 on the new Abarth 500. The second car making its debut is a tribute to the Abarth 124 Rally, which, after an extremely successful season that culminated in FIA R-GT Cup and European Rally Championship victories plus more than 40 class victories in 12 different national championships, is aiming to defend its dominant position, and the titles it won, in 2019.
New Abarth 595 esseesse
The amazing Abarth 595 esseesse is back, breathing new life into a name deeply rooted in the brand's history and looking right back to its origins, when the tuning kits of the Sixties made Karl Abarth's fortune as the inventor of kits designed to boost the performance of mass production cars.
1964 saw the debut of the first Abarth 595 esseesse, tuned with the aid of a Solex 34 PBIC carburettor and a special intake manifold, cast in a single piece of light alloy with the valve cover, boosting its power to 32 hp. On the outside, the car was recognisable for the rubber ties securing the bonnet instead of the usual lock, which was replaced by the enamelled Abarth logo.
Inside, the ‘mean little Scorpion’ displayed distinctive badges, with the ‘SS’ monogram in capital letters on the bonnet and boot, and ‘esseesse’ in full, in lowercase letters, on the dashboard. It was an immediate success with Italian sports car enthusiasts.
Its success was repeated in 2009 with the original ‘esseesse’ tuning kit for the new Abarth 500, which appeared in 2008. The tuning increased the engine's power to 160 hp and modified the suspension setup, with Eibach lowering springs, alongside a higher-powered braking system and other clearly racing-inspired contents. And to guarantee compliance with the most demanding control and safety standards, the ‘esseesse’ tuning kit was only installed by the official network of Abarth tuners, who still received it in the now famous wooden crate, just like the famous Sixties original.
Today, 10 years later, the iconic ‘esseesse’ makes its comeback at the top of the Abarth range, and is equipped with the 180 hp engine, the brand's most powerful. Intended for lovers of sheer performance, the new Abarth 595 combines the Scorpion brand's intrinsic adrenaline and sportiness with distinctive design, style and connectivity characteristics.
In the best Abarth tradition, this car is made truly special by specific standard equipment that provides an exciting driving experience that is always accompanied by the unmistakable deep Abarth roar delivered by its Akrapovic exhaust system, custom-developed for Scorpion cars, which combines outstanding performances with an even more exciting sound.
The new Abarth 595 esseesse also features a high-performance Brembo front braking system, ensuring outstanding response and perfect handling, thanks to the perforated, ventilated front brake discs and oversize red brake calipers. The system is able to realign the brake pads with the disc's braking surface for rapid heat dispersal and improved car reactivity when braking.
Another standard feature is the special air cleaner by BMC, which provides a better intake air flow capacity than conventional cleaners, with obvious benefits for engine combustion quality, power output and, as a consequence, performance. The new Abarth 595 esseesse's equipment is completed by a Koni FSD (Frequency Selective Damping) rear suspension system, which optimises the driving experience by ensuring even better road holding, handling and stability, in total safety. Last but not least, the standard outfit also includes navigation with the 7-inch / 177.8 mm Uconnect® HD touchscreen system, including Abarth Telemetry, Apple CarPlay™ support and Android Auto™ compatibility.
The lavish standard equipment is accompanied by unique aesthetic and styling features. On the outside, the new Abarth 595 esseesse is identified by 17-inch Supersport alloy wheels with a new Racing White finish, Abarth side stripes, mirror caps and matching front and rear dam. The new Abarth is also clearly delineated by the specific ‘esseesse’ featured on its livery which, together with the 70th Anniversary logo, make this sports car truly unique and exclusive.
The Abarth 595 esseesse's racing personality is clearly expressed by Sabelt 70 sports seats with a carbon rear shell, and carbon pedals. And a whole new range of Sabelt seats is now available on the 595, marking Abarth's 70th birthday with the number 70 embroidered on their covers. These seats are even further improved in their shape, inserts and padding for an even more intense driving experience.
Abarth 124 Rally Tribute
The Geneva show is also the venue for the global debut of the new Abarth 124 Rally Tribute, celebrating the 124 Rally racing car's triumph in the FIA R-GT Cup last year, as well as about 40 class victories in the 12 national championships in which it competed.
Produced in a limited edition of just 124 cars, the new Abarth 124 Rally Tribute features unique content that makes it a genuine collector's item, such as the unique commemorative badge on the mudguards and, inside the cockpit, the numbered metal plaque certifying its exclusive status. The exclusive styling and its peerless standard equipment transform this car into an emblem of the brand's core values - performance, craftsman-like care and technical excellence.
Like the 124 Spider from which it is derived, the new Abarth 124 Rally Tribute is outstandingly dynamic and agile, thanks above all to its mechanical self-locking differential - it is one of the very few cars to offer it in this segment - and its weight being concentrated within the wheelbase. Its light weight of just 1,060 kg guarantees outstanding agility, with an excellent weight-power ratio of 6.2 kg/hp.
Under the bonnet is a powerful 1.4-litre four-cylinder turbocharged engine with MultiAir technology paired to a six-speed manual transmission. With Euro6/D homologation, it delivers 170 hp (in other words, about 124 hp per litre) and 250 Nm of torque, achieving a top speed of 232 km/h and acceleration from 0 to 100 km/h in 6.8 seconds. Last but not least, the suspension features high double wishbone suspension on the front and five-arm multi-link on the rear.
The legendary Record Monza exhaust fitted on the new Abarth 124 Rally Tribute, with its dual mode system is capable of modifying the flow of the exhaust gas according to engine rpm and guarantees linear torque delivery while generating a satisfying, deep roar. Other racing-derived technical features include the brakes, developed and produced by Brembo and ultralight 17-inch alloy wheels with a Racing White finish, giving a weight reduction of 4 kg, which provides enhanced handling and an even sportier design.
The new Abarth 124 Rally Tribute is available in two body colours, Costa Brava Red and Turini White, both combined with a matte black bonnet, a reference to the historic Abarth 124 Rally, which also featured this as a solution to reduce sun dazzle for the driver. In addition, the mirror caps and dam are in gunmetal grey with Costa Brava Red livery or Racing Red with Turini White paintwork.
Standard equipment also includes luxury comfort features such as heated leather seats, an Alcantara kit, Abarth mats, automatic climate control and the Radio Plus Pack, which comprises an integrated infotainment system, controlled using a convenient, user-friendly knob on the central tunnel, a 7-inch / 177.8 mm colour touchscreen, DAB digital tuner, two USB ports, AUX port and Bluetooth connection. It is combined with a Bose® sound system with nine speakers, four of which are built into the head restraints.
Amongst the many accessories available for the Abarth 124 Spider from the Mopar catalogue for are a carbon fibre hard top - high-tech, lightweight and safe, it gives the car a true coupé style while retaining all the excitement and driving joy only a genuine roadster can offer. An oversize strut bar guarantees greater torsional rigidity for even more superlative handling, while a range of accessories, such as a drink holder kit with silver rings and aluminium cup with 124 Spider logo, help to make the interior even more exclusive, while the boot net with Mopar logo aids load organisation for the utmost freedom on the road.
Abarth, 70 years of style and performance, deeply rooted in motorsports
The legend of the Scorpion brand started on March 31, 1949 when Carlo Abarth (1908-1979) founded Abarth & C. with driver Guido Scagliarini. The first vehicle produced was a 204 A, based on the Fiat 1100, which immediately won the 1100 Sport Italian championship and the Formula 2 racing title.
Since then, the history of Abarth has been full of racing and industrial records - always in the spirit of the founder - to combine maximum performance, craftsmanship and constant technical progress. And thanks to the extraordinary achievements of the Abarth 124 Rally, the international public is now again enjoying all the thrills and excitement which originated in the mid Fifties when, further to an ever-closer partnership with Fiat, the Scorpion brand's motorsports legend began - 10 world records, 133 international records and more than 10,000 track victories.
The list of Abarth cars that have gone down in motorsports history is a truly long one, from the streamlined record-breaking cars built in association with Turin's top coachbuilders on Fiat-derived models, to the 850 TC, which won on all the international circuits, including the Nürburgring, and the 2300 S, which set an amazing series of records on the Monza track. From 1971 Abarth was wholly owned by Fiat Auto, and the legend was continued by the Fiat 124 Abarth, winner of the 1975 European title, the 131 Abarth, 1980 world rally champion, and Ritmo Abarth.
Although these triumphs, firmly ensconced in the collective imagination, are impressive in their own right, the importance of racing has always been much broader for Abarth's engineers and technical experts - it provides a gruelling testing bed, offering the harshest conditions to try out the most innovative technologies, ready for transfer to the Abarth road cars. This is the only route to achieving the very best in terms of performance, safety and reliability.
The two new additions to the range presented in Geneva are no exception and are sure to help to consolidate the sales success achieved in 2018, when the brand recorded its best-ever European sales, with almost 23,500 units registered and growth of 36.5 percent compared to 2017. The results were particularly outstanding in some markets - for example, in Great Britain, Abarth set its national record with 5,600 units sold and growth of 27%, while in Spain it sold 1,450 units, representing growth of 27%. And in Europe, the brand's fan base is expanding at a dizzying rate, with more than 100,000 fans registered in the Abarth Scorpionship community.
To celebrate these achievements, as well as the brand’s historic birthday, Abarth has launched the 70th Anniversary range, comprising the Abarth 595, Abarth 124 and, from today, the Abarth 595 esseesse models, all of which are clearly identified by the special logo that makes them unique and exclusive.
The 70th birthday of the Abarth legend is also being celebrated at the 2019 Geneva International Motor Show. In a special area created by top event organisers, visitors will be able to admire a special exhibition - including a series of premium classic cars from various collections, it tells the Abarth story right from its earliest days. FCA Heritage will be present with the fine Abarth 750 Record (1956), which in June of that year set a total of 14 speed and endurance records for the H class.
At the Geneva International Motor Show, the FCA Group is also presenting some of its new licensing collaboration projects, which aim to expand the visibility of its brands outside the automotive world. These are exclusive products that evoke Abarth values and pay homage to the Scorpion’s 70th anniversary.
Two new products on show at the Geneva International Motor Show were created specially to mark the 70th anniversary of the Abarth brand - the Titan chronograph watch by Breil, with clear references to the automotive world, including an unmistakably Abarth band and the iconic celebratory Scorpion emblem, plus the new Ixoost hi-fi audio system with integrated Bluetooth™ amplifier connected to a replica of the famous Record Monza muffler.