On Sale: Now
Carlo Abarth was a bit of bit of each motorsports hero you’ve ever heard of rolled up into one. Born in Austria as Karl Abarth, he garnered Italian citizenship and adjusted his first title to Carlo. Or possibly they modified it for him. Who is aware of? Not every part is exactly recorded on this legend’s life. Abarth began out racing bikes and is listed in a number of references as having received 5 championships on them, although precisely which championships should not named. He was associates with automobile and bike racer Tazio Nuvolari. After a very dangerous crash, he switched to facet automobiles as a result of he thought they had been safer. Driving in a single, he beat the Orient Specific throughout Europe. In some unspecified time in the future after that, he married Anton Piech’s secretary, which made him Ferry Porsche’s brother-in-law, which was a few good connections to have. Then he began constructing race automobiles — first Cisitalias — then hundreds and hundreds of Fiats.
Which brings us to this automobile right here. Or it can, in a second. Cling on.
Fiat revived the Abarth title 5 years in the past with a souped-up Fiat 500. That was (and is) a enjoyable automobile. From the manufacturing unit, the Fiat Abarth affords a turbocharged model of the 1.Four-liter 4 making 160 hp and 170 lb-ft; a brand new, a stiffened rear axle; solid decrease management arms as an alternative of stamped; extra damaging entrance camber; a really aggressive, three-season efficiency tire; and 11.1-inch entrance brake rotors gripped by semi-metallic racing brake pads. The chassis on the Fiat Abarth is zero.6 inch decrease, supported by new Koni FSD shocks to assist improve roll stiffness 40 p.c entrance and rear, and the rear suspension will get an antiroll bar the place none existed earlier than.
That’s the Fiat Abarth you purchase from Fiat. As you would possibly guess, the monitor monster you see right here is not from the Fiat manufacturing unit.
The automobile has stance!
In need of the nuclear possibility beneath the hood — and it might need that — there could also be nothing extra you might do to a Fiat than what you see right here within the Street Race Motorsports tackle the Abarth. It’s scoured out inside to rattly race readiness, is lightened and aero’d outdoors for what would possibly even be extra downforce and beneath the hood is about as a lot energy as you’re prone to get out of Fiat’s 1.Four-liter transverse turbocharged 4 … in need of including nitrous and a blower.
Like Abarth with Carlo, Street Race Motorsports is the product of one other Italian, Rob Tallini. I used to be first launched to Tallini and Street Race Motorsports 10 years in the past after I obtained to drive their Suzuki SX4T. You wouldn’t assume an SX4 could possibly be made right into a enjoyable automobile, however you’d be mistaken. Street Race added a giant turbo and some different tuner bits and, after about 30 seconds of cranking, the engine would fireplace with a bang and off you went. That was enjoyable. RRM affords components for 10 totally different producers’ automobiles, each on- and off-road, in addition to monitor functions. After we visited the store final week, there have been 911s, Evos and Zs within the store, together with a number of bikes.
It has a stubby attraction different automobiles lack, like a bulldog or a fireplace plug.
My subsequent expertise with Street Race was final week, when Tallini known as me as much as supply a drive of his Fiat Abarth. Bear in mind all that stuff Fiat places on the Abarth? Peanuts. Right here’s a semi-complete components listing for the automobile you see right here, as offered by Street Race Motorsports:
Engine: RRM Stage three Efficiency Package deal, which incorporates their “Final ECM” (~22psi), downpipe with high-flow catalytic converter, light-weight aluminum pulley system and chilly air consumption. RRM guarantees that each one these merchandise safely push the 1.Four-liter’s output to 250 hp. Value for the engine upgrades is someplace within the neighborhood of $1,500.
Suspension: The automobile will get a Bilstein coilover system “developed hand in hand with RRM to our valving/spring price specs.” There’s additionally a customized rear sway bar developed by Tallini himself, in addition to chassis bracing and higher/decrease brace bars additionally developed by RRM. Suspension elements’ worth is roughly $1,800.
Brakes: The braking system consists of slotted rotors with excessive carbon content material, Undertaking Mu pads and RRM’s stainless-steel braided brake line package deal. Value roughly $1,200.
Inside: The inside is scraped clear aside from a stereo system and air con. There are two Racetech seats, two Racetech 5-point harnesses, a customized change panel, and a customized crimson sprint pad.
Wheels/Tires: The wheels begin as clean XXR 531s however obtain a novel Fiat 4×98-mm bolt sample, powder-coated darkish crimson. The fronts are 16 by eight and rears are 16 by 9, thus requiring the widebody fender flares. Tires are Toyo R888s, 225/45-16 on all 4 corners.
Look: There’s a big selection of RRM carbon-fiber elements, together with these widebody fender flares, sideskirts, entrance lip and an RRM trim package deal.
Customized stuff: What RRM calls the “tarmac rally automobile look” comes from the entrance rally-inspired LED gentle system, six-point roll cage with door bars, sunroof delete, customized rear diffuser and Lexan door home windows with sliders.
Price? We’re nonetheless ready for the general price ticket, however Tallini mentioned you might spend $20 grand in your Fiat — possibly extra, possibly much less, relying. Which will appear to be loads, however you’ll be able to drive it to the monitor, saving the price of the truck and trailer, and the associated fee could possibly be lower than many different race automobiles you might purchase. Try some particular costs at their web site.
There ain’t a lot room between the steering wheel and the seat.
Is all of it value it?
Our first expertise was within the passenger seat with Tallini himself on the wheel. He’s an actual racer, having began in karts, then Spec Renault, then the California Rally Collection, amongst different sequence. To save lots of the entrance splitter, he diagonaled veeerrrry slowly by the rain gutter outdoors the store’s driveway with a precision that might have impressed a surgeon. Then he floored it. I didn’t have a look at the speedometer however I’d estimate he was going between 400 and 500 occasions quicker than I’d have gone.
Then he turned left. The little Fiat didn’t hesitate, didn’t roll, didn’t do something in any respect besides swing left with a directness you would possibly really feel if somebody related a proper cross to your jaw.
Then he floored it once more. For such a small automobile, you definitely get a number of efficiency. We flew down some facet road in industrial Santa Fe Springs and took one other nook or two. We didn’t die.
Then it was my flip.
The automobile had been arrange for a considerably shorter F1-sized driver, possibly for a jockey. There was no adjusting the Racetech seats. Thus, I used to be accordianed up towards the steering wheel, my legs folded as much as get my toes on the pedals and my elbows nearly absolutely bent. Fortunately I’m not fats, so my keister slotted into the seat like an Italian sardine in an Italian sardine tin. I strapped in. It is a lot nicer to regulate new belts than previous, and these had been new. Cosy as a stepped-on bug, I used to be not going wherever.
The engine fired, I slotted the anodized shifter ball into gear and off I went. It’s a heckuva a automobile on the LA freeway system. There’s a large convex rearview mirror and a pair tiny outdoors mirrors. If this had been my automobile (effectively, first I’d remount the seat about two blocks farther again than it was), I’d have left the inventory outdoors rearview mirrors in place. Or put trucker mirrors on the market. Because it was, visibility was stifled. You shift lanes by prayer.
I had the automobile for 3 days, however in need of getting into the 24 Hours of Wherever, I must discover a extra accessible place to wring it out. I selected a mountain highway you’ll know for those who lived close to LA. Not the one the place folks dwell, have homes and put black plastic trash cans on the curb. The opposite one. There’s nobody up there. Going midweek, I used to be much more prone to have the place all to myself. And I did. As soon as I handed the 2 LA County sheriffs who seemed up immediately from checking the standing of an deserted automobile, I used to be off.
The little Fiat has grip galore. Ground it right into a nook and the Toyos stick like loopy glue. The suspension is so good you begin to determine the way you’d fine-tune it for this specific stretch of highway. Because it was, I’d have dialed in additional rebound management. It bounces a bit of greater than it ought to have. However you’ll be able to change that simply sufficient, I assume. Regardless, it hangs on and on and on — approach past what you might get in a inventory Fiat Abarth. It will be a completely enjoyable race automobile in some sequence someplace.
Tallini has raced it within the U.S. Touring Automobile Championship, amongst different sequence. You would even take it out within the canyons on weekends. It’s not as critical as a GT3, however Tallini has diced on tracks with RX-7s and the like and had enjoyable doing it. It’s attainable you might, too. Name Street Race Motorsports, inform ’em Carlo despatched you.
On Sale: Now
Drivetrain: 1.Four-liter turbo-four, five-speed guide, FWD
Output: 250 hp (tuner)
Professionals: Nice grip!
Cons: Very uncomfortable