The Italian race car builder Abarth is continuing its tradition of building accessible competition machinery with the unveiling of its new 500 R3T rally car. Revealed for the first time at this month’s 51st San Remo Rally, the Abarth 500 R3T will feature in a one-make rallying circuit in 2010. The European and Italian Trophies for the Abarth 500 Assetto Corse circuit racer will continue.
For Abarth, the new car marks a return to a discipline in which it has been present for more than 30 years. Starting in 1977 with the first edition of the Autobianchi A112 Abarth Championship, Abarth continued with the Fiat Uno, Uno Turbo, Cinquecento, Seicento, Punto Kit and Super 1600, Stilo and Panda Kit Trophies. The Abarth 500 rally car will be homologated in the R3T group, a category reserved for supercharged cars with a maximum cylinder capacity of 1.6 liter. This class represents good value through its cost/performance ratio and is ideal for privateers and young drivers wishing to showcase their talent at the wheel of a high-performance car.
The Abarth 500 R3T’s 1.4 liter engine is fitted with a Garrett GT 1446 turbocharger, delivering 180hp. It is equipped with a six-speed sequential gearbox, a self-locking blade differential, twin disc clutch and special half-shafts.
Attention has been paid to the possibility of adjusting the suspension to adapt the set-up to suit different surfaces and drivers’ styles. Four Brembo disc brakes – ventilated at the front, solid at the rear – with an adjustable split system, provide the stopping power. The car also features a hydraulic hand brake. The 2380 lbs Abarth 500 is fitted with a welded-in roll-cage integrated to the body shell, FIA seats with six-point harnesses and other safety devices. The calendar for the Abarth rally trophy will be published later this year.