Fiat Abarth 124 R-GT is ready to attack the world's rally stages
Fiat is returning to the first league of the world’s rallying. The Italian brand, that has three world championship titles written in its history books (1977, 1978 and 1980) with an iconic Fiat 131 Abarth, prepared the brand new Fiat Abarth 124 R-GT race car for the next season of the international and domestic rallying. The new car, that bears the name of another legendary model (Fiat 124 Abarth) is based on the production version of the Fiat Abarth 124 Spider, introduced earlier this year.
Fiat Abarth 124 Rally bears the famous name
Fiat Abarth 124 Rally has been revealed a few months ago as a concept car. In the meantime, the car underwent numerous kilometers of testing and is now ready for racing competitions. The official name of the car is Fiat Abarth 124 Rally, although the name Fiat Abarth 124 R-GT is also correct, as it unmistakenly reveals what kind of vehicle is this new little beast with a scorpion on its logo.
Abarths’ return to the world’s rally stages
The Abarth 124 Rally will be able to compete in all international races and most national events sanctioned by FIA. In the 2015 world rallying season, there was an R-GT cup but it wasn’t a successful project since only two or three cars (only Porsches) competed in it. Now we have a completely new R-GT car, so maybe the future of the R-GT class is little bit brighter.
The new R-GT car has 1.8L engine with 300 hp
Beneath the bonnet of the new car is the 1800ccm turbocharged direct injection engine with a dual overhead camshaft. By exploiting different selectable mappings, it can deliver the power output up to 300 HP at 6500 rpm. All that power is managed by six-speed sequential transmission with shift paddles and transferred to rear wheels only. Just like in old times when the rear-wheel-driven Fiats were ruling out in the world rallying.
Weight reduction and balance were priorities
To enhance the full competitiveness of the Abarth 124 Rally, the Abarth Racing Team mechanics and engineers managed to set the best characteristics of a rally car. First of all, weight reduction and overall balance were priorities. For this reason, the engine is mounted behind the front axle; for the cockpit and the engine compartment, light, resistant materials were used, while the soft top was replaced by a fixed carbon fibre hard top. With these features, weight distribution leans slightly towards the rear axle in order to ensure maximum traction even in low grip conditions. The center of gravity was further lowered compared to the street-legal version to the advantage of a road grip and straightforward performance.
Refined version of the Fiat Abarth 124 Spider
The new Abarth 124 Spider was born light and agile, and the Rally edition was further refined. The regulations required structural reinforcements to guarantee even greater stress resistance and the highest safety standards for the crew. The car’s body has a safety roll cage, which also has the task of increasing torsional stiffness and strengthening the attachment points of the top mounts.
Maximum efficiency and ergonomics for the crew
The whole design is also focused on the search for maximum efficiency and ergonomics, ensuring the crew does not only have an excellent performance but also to pay attention to every single detail, such as the arrangement of interior controls and available space in the cockpit.
With a high level of integration, all the main controls are ergonomically grouped on the steering wheel. The driver can choose the different calibrations of the engine or select the traction control mode, from the one designed for fast, high-grip routes to the one designed to support driving in low grip conditions.
Many set-up adjustments are offered
To ensure maximum grip in all road conditions and to adapt it for different special stages, the engineers were extremely careful in defining the set-up possibilities for the suspension (front high double wishbone and rear multilink). The choice of broad adjustments is offered, such as the characteristic angles for different surfaces or various configurations of the hydraulic four-way shock absorbers.
One-make trophy and challenge competitions announced for 2017
Fiat Abarth 124 Rally is available for private teams in the international competitions, but Fiat and Abarth are already organising a promotional trophy competition based on participation in seven rounds of the 2017 Italian Rally Championship.
The main award – official drive at 2018 Rallye Monte-Carlo
Abarth will offer wide technical support for all customer teams and will also arrange some activities to promote the drivers and teams that will choose their car for racing. Particular attention will be devoted to young drivers and a special ranking will be dedicated only to them. The best under-23 driver will attend an ACI Sport Federal Super Driving Course and compete in the Rallye Monte Carlo the following year with an official Abarth 124 Rally.
The famous number 124 is back
The 1976 Rallye Monte Carlo was the last official event for the Fiat 124 Abarth and now, more than 40 years later, Fiat and Abarth are ready to rumble again on the most famous (and less famous) rally stages around the world and the rally fans are eager to see the new car.
Video : Test drive of the Abarth 124 Rally