23/09/2008 – It is only a few months since the 500 Abarth was launched, but there is no stopping Abarth & C. S.p.A. as they bring several more new products to the Paris Motor Show. The major new developments include a world preview of the “esseesse” kit for the 500 Abarth, the Assetto Corse Abarth and a new collection of technical equipment produced in partnership with Basic Net (owner of the prestigious Kappa, Robe di Kappa, Superga and K-way brands).
In particular, the spotlight will be on the “esseesse” kit for the 500 Abarth, which evokes the glorious history of the Scorpion. Carlo Abarth always concentrated his efforts on developing the performance of standard-production cars, but it was only after a meeting with Vittorio Valletta (President of Fiat from 1946-1966) that the conditions were put in place for development of the famous conversion kit. In 1958, the year in which Abarth & C. Spa was recognised as a solid international company, an important agreement was sealed which allowed Abarth & C. to use the semi-finished bodyshells of cars on which they could design their conversions using special parts.
This link to a major car manufacturer allowed the company, based in Corso Marche (Turin) to develop and fine-tune its preparation of small vehicles. Carlo Abarth’s aim was to design a simple, standardised performance enhancement technique so that any workshop, mechanic or even the customer himself could fit the parts to their vehicles.
The new Abarth – underlining its desire to carry on the historic work of Abarth&Co by bringing it up to date – now brings us the first conversion kit dedicated to the 500 Abarth. The whole concept of the Paris stand is based on car preparation, with the presentation of the 500 Abarth “esseesse” kit and the Assetto Corse Abarth version. The public will be able to see the various levels of Abarth “empowerment”, through which everyone can find their ideal performance level. From the entry-level car, the range continues with a specific kit, through to the “assetto corse” racing set-up which represents the ultimate Abarth performance.
Original and extremely eye-catching, the display area is characterised by those elements of the Scorpion philosophy that have made it so unique and popular worldwide: the tough spirit, speed, and an innate desire to win. Compared to previous shows, nothing has changed as far as the brand’s distinctive identity is concerned: the colour red, a great passion for cars, the red and white chequered flag used to signal the end of endurance races (the competitions in which Abarth has notched up its greatest achievements), and the yellow and red shield with the black scorpion, representing the stinging zodiac sign of this mechanical genius. The beautiful polished white floor only adds to the dynamic look of the stand, while the materials and finishes almost fade into the background in order to show off the car and the kits – the real protagonists of the stand.
500 Abarth and the “esseesse” kit are sharing the Paris stage with another star: the 500 Abarth Assetto Corse, to represent the coming together of two worlds: racing and ordinary road driving. Each draws strength from the other in a mix of past and present, the historic and the contemporary, tradition and technology – an integral part of the Abarth story. The stand also makes room for technology, with interactive features like the car configurator so that visitors can view the different versions of each model. The parts look so real you can almost reach out and touch them. There is also a series of interactive screens which brings the Abarth world to life: a way to discover, hear and share that empowerment – the capacity to make a normal product into something outstanding – which makes Abarth unique.
Paris is the perfect opportunity to really find out about the world of Abarth preparation which is already proving to be a great hit with the “Assetto” and “esseesse” kits available for the Grande Punto Abarth 1.4 Turbo T-Jet 155 CV. Over 600 kits have been sold in just a few months. The distribution network, unique in its class and steadily growing, has been a key factor in achieving these significant results. The European target has been achieved, with 100 dealers now operating in Italy, Germany, the United Kingdom, France, Switzerland, Austria, the Netherlands, Greece, Belgium, Portugal, Spain and Poland. There are 100 official converters and about 200 workshops. By year-end Abarth will make its début in non-European markets, first of all in Japan which is keenly awaiting the Scorpion’s arrival.