Photo credit: Abarth
Abarth 1000 SP - a name that still makes the hearts of fans of the brand with the scorpion in the coat of arms beat faster today. The light and powerful Spider was designed in 1966 by the Milanese engineer Mario Colucci and was successful on racetracks all over Europe. The Abarth 1000 Sport Prototipo was built in limited numbers and made a significant contribution to the brand's fame. In 2009, Centro Stile Abarth developed the idea of reinterpreting the unmistakable design of the 1000 SP in a current vehicle. Now, exactly 55 years after the premiere of the historic Abarth 1000 SP, the project is being resumed and refined. The result is a unique concept vehicle with bold lines - a homage to its legendary predecessor.
1966 Abarth 1000 SP tribute
In the second half of the 1950s, Alfa Romeo and Abarth worked together on the development of a sports car with a comparatively small displacement. The result of the project, whose management Alfa Romeo entrusted the Milan engineer Mario Colucci, was the Alfa Romeo Abarth 1958 presented in 1000. The compact coupé had the four-cylinder of the Giulietta Sprint Veloce under the bonnet. A tubular space frame served as the chassis.
The body was designed by Franco Scaglione, a designer at Bertone at the time. The Alfa Romeo Abarth 1000 remained a one-off. But Carlo Abarth was so impressed by the collaboration with Mario Colucci that he brought him to his company in Turin as Technical Director. Colucci's first project for his new employer was the Abarth 1966 SP, presented in 1000.
The model name refers to the engine
The model name refers to the engine, a power unit derived from the four-cylinder of the Fiat 600 with around 1.000 cubic centimeters, and the targeted category in racing. The vehicle was supposed to compete as a Sport Prototipo (SP), i.e. sports cars that were specially developed for participation in competitions and only built in small numbers. Abarth planned the very flat and aerodynamically sophisticated 1000 SP for both short hill climbs and long-distance races.
Light and powerful, the Abarth 1000 SP achieved a number of international class victories, the first in the 500-kilometer race at the Nürburgring in September 1966. The radical racing car made a significant contribution to consolidating the sporting prestige of the still young Abarth brand. With the Abarth 1000 SP, engineer Colucci perfected his concept of a racing car with a tubular frame chassis, which he had started a few years earlier with the Alfa Romeo Abarth 1000.
a milestone in the history of the competition
The Abarth 1000 SP is considered a milestone in the brand's competitive history. Inspired by the style, performance and race wins of the iconic Sport Prototipo from the 1960s, the designers at Centro Stile Fiat & Abarth have now created a contemporary reinterpretation. You presented the concept of a medium-sized sports car with a unique design, clean lines and an excellent ratio between weight and performance. The concept car follows the ideal of its historical predecessor and bridges the gap between the 1960s and 2021.
The Abarth 1000 SP concept vehicle respects three design principles that were already seen in the 1966 Sport Prototipo. First and foremost are clear lines as well as low volume and weight. The second basis is aerodynamics: modern design technologies make it possible to implement the iconic lines of the Abarth 1000 SP with a drag coefficient that is worthy of a modern sports car. And finally, ergonomics aims to increase driving fun and optimize vehicle control and agile driving behavior.
The Abarth 1000 SP concept vehicle takes on the characteristic lines and looks of its historical predecessor. The elegant curve of the body illustrates the layout of a mid-engine spider. The side windows run in an arc towards the roll bar behind the cockpit, which emphasizes the character of the uncompromising roadster even more.
Air inlets characterize the front hood
Characteristic air inlets characterize the front hood and the cover of the mid-engine. The paintwork in a strong red and the design of the round headlights also follow the minimalist scheme of the historic Abarth 1000 SP. The lines at the rear created harmony between the rear lights and the tailpipes. The far outward position of the rear lights underlines the remarkable width of the vehicle.
The designers of the Abarth 1000 SP concept vehicle have succeeded in transferring the look of the historic Sport Prototipo to the present day. In contrast, the 1960s tubular space frame as the chassis for the 2021 concept car has given way to a modern carbon fiber monocoque and aluminum subframe. The new Abarth 1000 SP is powered by a four-cylinder mid-engine with 1.742 cubic centimeters and a turbocharger that develops up to 177 kW (240 hp) *. The chassis combines wheel suspensions with triangular wishbones on the front axle and MacPherson struts on the rear axle.
Exactly 55 years after the debut of the historic Abarth 1000 SP, the concept vehicle, which was produced only once, is ready to be shown to fans of the brand with the scorpion in its coat of arms. The presentation of the new Abarth 1000 SP is planned at major classic car events from autumn 2021.
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Unique concept vehicle as a tribute to the Abarth 1000 SP from 1966
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