A prototype version of the hard-topped 124 Rally developed by the Abarth Racing Team has been unveiled alongside the road-going 124 Spider.
The manufacturer said the two vehicles were developed in tandem. The rally car was given the internal project code SE139, with ‘SE’ standing for ‘Sports’ and ‘Experimental’. It has been unveiled some 40 years after the original Fiat 124 Abarth Rallye appeared on the special stages of the Monte Carlo Rally.
Built to the FIA’s R-GT rulebook, the new rear-wheel-drive Abarth 124 Rally is powered by an 1800cc turbocharged engine which has been remapped to deliver 296bhp at 6500rpm. The torque output hasn’t been revealed, but Abarth said it is “optimum to allow the driver steering and acceleration balance while oversteering”.
The engine is coupled to a six-speed sequential gearbox with shift paddles and the car is also equipped with a mechanical limited-slip differential.
The Abarth Racing Team engineers focused on reducing the weight and enhancing the overall balance of the competition car, as well as installing the rollcage necessary for rallying.
The engine is mounted behind the front axle; lightweight, resistant materials are used in the cockpit and engine compartment and the production car’s soft top has been replaced by a fixed composite hard top.
Weight distribution leans slightly towards the rear axle, which Abarth said “ensures maximum traction even in low grip conditions”. The centre of gravity has been further lowered compared to the road car’s.
The front-end double wishbone suspension and multi-link rear suspension have been uprated for competition, and four—way adjustable dampers from the Ext Shock company have been fitted.
Assisting Abarth with the creation of the car were Petronas Selenia (lubricants and engine development), Adler Pelzer Group (composite components), Michelin (tyres), Sabelt (bucket-seats, seatbelts and other safety equipment), LM Gianetti (bodywork and suspension), BMC (air intake), OZ (wheels) and Alcantara (interior trim).
Abarth will build examples of the 124 Rally for customer rally teams, and has opened the order books now.
The Abarth 124 Rally will be eligible for the FIA R-GT Cup, a tarmac-based rally series which was dominated by Porsche 911 GT3s last year.