The Fiat Grande Punto Abarth
The introduction of the Fiat Grande Punto Abarth heralded the rebirth of the famous Abarth name. Brought out at the 77th Geneva International Motor Show with a turbocharged 1.4L engine that produces 150bhp at 5500 rpm it is a fitting reintroduction of the Abarth line for Fiat. Know formerly as being one of the premier brands in world motor sports. Before Abarth was purchased by Fiat in 1971 they were an independent automaker and racing team created by the pioneering Austrian-turned-Italian Carlo Abarth in 1949. With an array of technological and design innovations the Grande Punto Abarth brings Abarth into the 21st century after lying dormant since the 1980′s.
Abarth has always symbolized the essence of competitiveness engendering passion and excitement in the hearts of true motorsport fans.
The racing version, the Grande Punto Abarth S2000 was designed to maintain as well as bring about an increase in that excitement. With its 2000 cc aspirated engine that delivers 270 bhp the S2000 is simply put a reincarnation of the true Abarth racing spirit.
Stiffened suspension, lowered profile and wider wheels make these cars a dream to handle. Quick and responsive with an incredible power boost rather than a controlled build up of torque these cars have a true racing attitude. The option to add additional muscle and response to the already potent Punto is available in the Esseesse kit. The ‘esseesse’, utilizing an ECU change as well as a modified intake and exhaust system produces 180bhp and 201lb-ft – a phenomenally amazing output for a 1.4L power plant.
Along with adding additional power the esseesse kit includes 18″ Oz wheels with drilled front discs and appropriate pads as well as a lowered suspension that drops the car another 20mm. Installation of the esseesse kit by an official Abarth dealer is required. This modification must be done within a year or 12,500 miles of purchasing the car. To truly appreciate the capabilities of the increase in power and improved handling it is certainly worth ordering racing seats as a compliment to esseesse kit.
Combining function with beauty The Punto has a sporty look that embodies its true racing and rallying purpose while avoiding the over done style of some of the other cars in its class.
In its true, fast paced racing tradition Abarth has assembled a very competent team to bring the Punto line into production. Lead by Chief Executive Officer Luca De Meo the orginization is divided into three distinct groups each headed up by men who are acknowledged leaders in their chosen field. At the helm of Business Operations, Engineering & Manufacturing Operations and Racing Operations is Antonino Labate. He is charged with designing the products and services for the customization and tuning of standard sports cars, organizing the sales and service network, and managing the merchandising and licensing operations.
The next member of the team is Paolo Ollino who leads the Engineering & Manufacturing Operations. Paolo is responsible for technical development and production, together with the tuning and servicing of competition cars, and developing the car customization and tuning products.
The man who will be bringing Abarth’s vehicles into national and international competitions and overseeing relations with racing and rallying clients and sponsors is Claudio Berro as he manages the Racing Operations division.
All men at the forefront of the latest technology, design, marketing and strategy they will form the nucleus of the organization whose task it is to take Abarth and the Punto line into the next phase of custom design and competitive racing.