23 Sep 2016
Abarth 124 Rally: Ready to Race
- After the early tests the car is ready to tackle the toughest rally courses.
- A promotional trophy with an eye to young drivers and teams.
- The Group R-GT car has a 300 HP engine, sequential transmission and road and gravel trim.
- Orders are open.
- Fiat Professional is the technical sponsor of the Abarth Racing Program.
While the first units of the new Abarth 124 spider will become available at European dealerships in the next few days, the tests of the Abarth 124 Rally, the car that will be marking brand's comeback to this gruelling and exciting form of motor sport, continue at a fast pace. The car is competitive and perfect for the needs of private teams and drivers. After having endured mile after mile of test drives on the Balocco Proving Grounds, Abarth 124 Rally tackled a special course in the hills near Sanremo. On the roads where world-famous rallies have been staged for years, teams enjoyed a preview of the technical features of the car demonstrated by the test drivers who are developing it for the next racing season.
Abarth 124 Rally is classified in Group R-GT and will consequently be able to compete in all international races and most national ones. Abarth is organising a promotional trophy based on participation in seven rounds of the Italian Rally Championship and an international challenge, the calendar of which will be established by picking the most significant events of the national calendars.
Once again, with this car Abarth is kicking off a programme targeted to customers and is preparing an array of activities to promote the drivers and teams that will choose the 124 Rally for racing. In particular, in addition to a race and final jackpot for drivers and teams, activities will include a hospitality area and technical support provided by Abarth during the race with direct sales of spare parts. In the best Abarth tradition, particular attention will be devoted to young drivers and a special ranking will be dedicated only to them. The best under-23 driver will attend an ACI Sport Federal Super Driving Course and compete in the Montecarlo Rally the following year with an official 124 Rally. The prize is invaluable in terms of experience and prestige considering the level of the drivers competing in the opening event of the Rally World Championship.
Teams racing with Abarth know that they can rely on a competitive car that spectacular, easy to manage and guaranteed by a brand that built so many winning models of the past, like the Fiat 124 Abarth Rally (1975 European Champion), the 131 Abarth Rally (three times World Champion in 1977, 1978 and 1980) and the famous Lancia cars tuned by Abarth of the long winning streak.
The new Abarth 124 Rally is an adulterated concentrate of technology and performance, the result of the experience of the Abarth Racing Team to bring the brand with the scorpion badge back onto the most glorious and challenging rally courses, from special stages where the asphalt is hotter to those made treacherous by the slippery ice.
More than forty years after its last official race - the 1976 Monte Carlo Rally - Abarth 124 Rally is back with the same philosophy: to test the technical solutions of street-legal cars under extreme conditions and to guarantee excellent performance and maximum reliability to all Abarth customers.
It is dedicated to everyone who shares the brand's sense of challenge and racing world values.
Besides top performance during competitions, the goal of a race car is also to ensure a high equivalent value for motor sports customers. For this reason, for the first time, an innovative project target setting method adopted integrating the needs of drivers, co-drivers, mechanics and teams to develop new technical solutions capable of ensuring top competitive results from all points of view.
Concealed beneath the bonnet is the 1800 cm3 turbocharged direct injection dual overhead camshaft engine. By exploiting different selectable mappings, it can output power up to 300 HP at 6500 rpm and optimum torque curve, a key element to allow the driver steering and acceleration balance when oversteering. Performance is breathtaking, acceleration is scorching and enhanced by a full, satisfying sound. The project was developed to ensure reliability and performance also in the extreme conditions typical of rallies: ice, dirt, dust, water, heat.
Even the transmission was designed to enhance performance: the engine is coupled to a rapid six-speed sequential gearbox with shift paddles and traction is assured by the mechanical self-locking differential.
Motor sports, for Abarth, is not only all about thrills. Races are also testing grounds to experiment with solutions that guarantee performance and excitement. The Abarth Racing Team mechanics set precise objectives to enhance the competitiveness of 124 Rally: first of all, weight reduction and overall balance. For this reason, the motor is mounted behind the front axle; for the cockpit and the engine compartment, light, resistant materials were used, while the soft top was replaced by a fixed carbon fibre hard top. With these features, weight distribution leans slightly towards the rear axle in order to ensure maximum traction even in low grip conditions. The centre of gravity was further lowered compared to the street-legal version to the advantage of road grip and straightforward performance.
The new Abarth 124 Spider was born light and agile, and the Rally edition was further refined to star in competitions. Classification in Group FIA R-GT required structural reinforcements to guarantee even greater stress resistance and the highest safety standards for the crew, and the body now has a safety roll cage, which also has the task of increasing torsional stiffness and strengthening the attachment points of the top mounts.
The whole design is focused on the search for maximum efficiency and ergonomics, ensuring the crew not only excellent performance, but also attention to every minute detail, such as the arrangement of interior controls and available space in the cockpit.
Rallies subject the cars to extreme stresses, and that is why the excellent mechanical layout of the production car has been developed further. The suspension system - front high double wishbone and rear multilink - provide optimised kinematics and are now installed on special subframes that ensure, at the same time, higher mechanical resistance and considerable reduction in weight, while metal joints guarantee top driving accuracy.
To ensure maximum grip in all road conditions and adapt to the different special stages, the Racing Team mechanics were extremely careful in defining the suspension set-up possibilities, which offer a broad adjustment of the characteristic angles, a greater bump position for difficult surfaces and, above all, hydraulic four-way shock absorbers to be able to configure compression and rebound behaviour as well as response to the high or low frequencies extremely accurately to indulge the driver's feeling.
The first-class mechanics has called for a new generation electronic system both to ensure top performance on the road and to optimise weight and overall dimensions.
With a high level of integration, all the main controls are ergonomically grouped on the steering wheel. In this way the driver can, for example, choose the different calibrations of the engine or select the traction control mode, from the one designed for fast, high-grip routes to that designed to support driving in low grip conditions.
The secondary controls are instead concentrated in the console area to be enabled also by the co-driver in critical conditions or during transfers.
Perfectly interpreting Carlo Abarth's legacy, the Racing Team mechanics also focused on car serviceability and containing the cost per kilometre to foster the promotion of new talents and allow gentlemen drivers to access the world of rallies. A modern rally car must be designed to secure top performance, but also to make sure drivers, co-drivers and mechanics can rely on a machine that can meet their expectations and adapt to multiple uses and situations. This is the reason why the new Abarth 124 Rally will offer the possibility to choose different configurations and set-ups, spanning from the profoundly mechanical, such as ground clearance, to exterior liveries, to be reminiscent of the unforgettable triumphs of the Abarth brand in rallies the world over.
Finally, the SE139 code of the project is rooted in the pulsing heart of the brand's history, referring directly to Karl Abarth. The abbreviation SE means "Sports" and "Experimental", a direct connection with Abarth's values of craftsmanship and technical progress. The progressive number 139, on the other hand, reminds us that in its 67-year history, Abarth has developed an average of two racing projects per year: an outstanding achievement that few other automotive manufacturers can boast.
Abarth, back in the world of rallies owing to a team of excellence
The Abarth team has worked hard in its search for technical partners and sponsors at the top of the category. One of these is Petronas Lubricants that, under the brand Petronas Selenia,, has always been engaged in the creation of technologically advanced, high-performance lubricants, and which contributed to the development of the engine. The Adler Pelzer Group instead was involved with a starring role in the production of tailor-made components for the composite car, and Michelin was selected as official technical partner to develop the tyres.
The Abarth 124 Rally project is also a marvellous showcase for several Italian companies united by decades of experience in the racing world. To name a few: Sabelt, one of the most famous brands in the racing sector, which gave its contribution with its exceptional shell-shaped seats, seat belts and other safety devices, and Kappa, the leading brand in the sportswear sector worn by the complete Abarth Racing Team. From a mechanical standpoint, the bodywork and the suspension layout have been completely redesigned by Abarth's technical team in close collaboration with LM Gianetti, a company founded over 40 years ago that was involved in the development of the first Abarth 124 Rally. EXT SHOX instead brought its own specialist know-how to the development of the adjustable four-position shock absorbers
BMC supported the team in designing the intake system which is fundamentally important in order to guarantee consistent and reliable performance of the engine. The lightweight and at the same time strong and stiff race rims were designed and manufactured by OZ, a true legend in the world of motor sports.
Finally, the interior has been completely renovated (just like for the street-legal version) using Alcantara® on the dashboard and seats. This 100% Made in Italy material, featuring functional and emotional qualities, reduces the overall weight of the car and prevents sunlight reflections in the cockpit, in addition to ensuring maximum grip in the points of contact between driver and car.
The team passionately worked to completely renovate an icon of the rally world like Abarth 124 Rally, and the rear-wheel drive transmission is synonymous with fun for driver and for the public, which certainly will be astonished with Abarth 124 Rally and its agility.
The new 124 Rally, made adopting the most advanced technology available today, brings back sweet memories of the world of rallies, when in the seventies the races were more exciting and enjoyed huge success.
Lastly, something else that is new: starting today the new 124 Rally can be ordered on the website www.racing.abarth.com and by writing to firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Abarth Racing Team and Abarth Racing dealers are naturally available to all customers to answer questions and meet all technical and commercial requirements.
Fiat Professional technical sponsor of the Abarth Racing Programme
Fiat Professional will be the technical sponsor of the Abarth Racing Programme for two years. Two Ducato vans (a minibus and a mobile workshop) and a Talento, one of the new models of 2016, also outfitted by Abarth for carrying passengers, will be present at each appointment.
On race days, the public will be able to test the line-up of a genuine full liner brand: the new models presented during 2016 can satisfy the most diverse needs.
This partnership between the two brands is based on common values, like determination, dynamism and team spirit, shared by the world of sports and by Fiat Professional. This 2016 was a pivotal year for new products, like Fullback, the new Fiorino and the mentioned Talento, that stands out for being very versatile and for its compact proportions. The bond with sports is the perfect expression of the approach that the brand will adopt also for 2017 to take on new, tough challenges together with the values of competence and reliability that have always been its distinguishing features.
Turin, 23 September 2016