Abarth shows us what America is missing out on.
The Fiat 500 is no longer sold in the US. Sadly, this means the hot Abarth 500 pocket rocket is a forbidden fruit Americans can no longer enjoy. Since the Abarth Fiat 124 Spider is also discontinued, Abarth is no longer represented in America and Stellantis isn't planning to change that. With the 500X now the only Fiat sold in America for the 2021 model year, the Italian automaker's future in the US isn't looking good.
To remind us what we're missing out on, Abarth is looking back at its rich 72-year history. Abarth was founded by Italian-Austrian engineer Carlo Abarth on 31 March 1949, 72 years ago today. The iconic scorpion logo is inspired by the founder's zodiac sign. Today, the Italian performance brand is best known for its tuning kits, record-breaking cars, and winning historic races.
In 72 years, Abarth has achieved over 10,000 wins, ten world records, and four world rally championships. Abarth's racing pedigree began in 1950 when Tazio Nuvolari achieved a category victory in Palermo-Monte Pellegrino hill-climb. In 1954, the Abarth logo was updated with a two-tone shield symbolizing "victories in sporting battles," which still represents the brand today. It was updated again in 1962 with a checkered flag, the words 'Campione del mondo' (Italian World Champion), and a laurel wreath to celebrate the Abarth 1000 Bialbero winning the first of six consecutive manufacturer world championships in Division One.
The logo was updated again a few years later in 1969 with a redesigned black scorpion and new Abarth lettering and again in 1971 with an Italian flag after Abarth was acquired by Fiat the same year. The logo was redesigned in 2007 with a more modern design and updated in 2019 with a checkered flag to celebrate the company's 70th anniversary and was only used on cars manufactured that year. All Abarth road cars feature a second logo on the rear inspired by an emblem that appeared on all Abarth racing cars since the 1960s.
In the racing world, Abarth continues to supply enignes to the Italian and German F4 Championships. The Abarth 124 will also compete in the European Rally Championship for the third year running.
In Europe, Abarth has launched its new 2021 range with four sporty variants of the 500 hatchback: the 595, Turismo, Competizione, and Essesse, with the more powerful Competizione and Essesse variants producing 177 hp from a 1.4-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine. As a homage to Abarth's racing history, the new 595 Competizione is available in a Blu Rally finish inspired by the 1970s Fiat 131 Abarth rally car, while the new 17-inch alloy wheels are inspired by the wheels on the Lancia Delta Rally Integrale from the 1990s.
To celebrate its 72nd anniversary, Abarth is inviting enthusiasts to create their own take on the Abarth logo through drawings, paintings, and artwork. Selected submissions will be shown on Abarth's social media channels.