Have your say on Abarth's new graphics, intended for future electric vehicles.
Abarth is no longer available in the United States, and that's a shame. The 500 hot hatch is a boisterous little delight that provides thrill-a-minute dynamics in an affordable package - unless you opt for the $40,000 695 Tributo 131 Rally, that is. The boutique performance subsidiary enjoys a small but loyal following across the world and often relies on input from fans to shape future offerings.
Earlier this year, the Italian automaker asked aficionados to help choose an acoustic warning for future EV models, through the Abarth Performance Creator. This nifty tool, used on the brand's various social media channels, provides a platform for fans to shape their favorite automaker's future. Now, Abarth wants some help in the design department.
This time, the UK subsidiary is asking fans to give their opinion on new stripes and decals "for the Abarth of the future." Instagram and Facebook users can choose between the designs seen above, known as the Scratch and the Shift. The former is inspired by an electronic glitch and is said to inject "the Scorpion's poison into the digital world" and showcase the "adrenaline-pumping driving experience into the future of mobility."
The latter is more minimalist in its approach, with a toned-down classic approach. The three-dimension effect is said to enhance the company's sporting soul and gives the impression that it's been embossed into the metal. Should you want to participate, head over to Abarth UK's Instagram or Facebook pages and cast your vote. Eventually, the preferred design will adorn the bodywork of future Abarth vehicles.
Exuberant graphics have always been a part of the Abarth brand. In recent years, the pretty 124 Spider arrived with a lively graphics package, which included a prominent scorpion on the hood and stripes flowing down the sides. But it stretches further back than that. Iconic models such as the original 595 and the '80s Strada Abarth were also made available with fun liveries.
As the brand heads into the electric era, there's a strong chance its lineup will lose the character afforded by the fizzy little engines. Funky styling and endless scope for personalization will help retain the brand identity and keep customers in the fold. Still, there's plenty to look forward to. Company boss Olivier Francois is promising lots of excitement.
"Electric cars are so fun to drive already," he said. "The good news is that we are actively working on it, and once it's confirmed, it will be relatively quick."
For now, Abarth still sells ICE-powered vehicles, such as the aforementioned 695. In South America, however, the performance wing recently introduced its first-ever sporty crossover. The Abarth Pulse produces 185 horsepower which, interestingly, makes it more powerful than the 595 and 695 models.
Produced in Brazil, the Pulse is capable of hitting 62 mph in less than eight seconds before reaching a top speed of 130 mph. That's not exactly blistering, but it should make the school run a bit more exciting. Once Stellantis gets Abarth going down the electric avenue, we're hoping for a return to the local market.
It may just breathe new life into the forlorn Fiat brand, which currently offers the rather lackluster 500X as its sole product.