I’ve just interviewed Roberto Giolito, Head of FCA Heritage and designer of the Fiat 500, because one of his unknown designs is about to go into production – as he revealed exclusively for a story in Auto Italia magazine.
Abarth Classiche will build a very limited number of the new mid-engined 1000 SP. The design dates back to 2009, when Abarth was developing a new sports car – but it was repurposed to become the Alfa Romeo 4C.
A modified version of the never-before-seen 2009 Abarth 1000 SP prototype was unveiled at the recent Auto e Moto d’Epoca show in Padova, where expressions of interest from potential customers were collected. A production run of five units has now been given the green light.
The new-for-2022 1000 SP revives the style and spirit of the 1966 Abarth 1000 Sport Prototipo, which competed in endurance races and hillclimbs and won the Nürburgring 500km. The homage to the 1960s racer uses a mid-mounted engine and has open barchetta bodywork, with many tributes to the original design, including stepped cockpit glass, exposed roll-over bar, distinctive air vents, centre-exit exhaust and small headlamps. The whole rear body section opens backwards and is located with clasps.
The new 1000 SP is based on the Alfa Romeo 4C, complete with its carbonfibre main tub, aluminium subframes, 240hp 1.75-litre turbocharged four-cylinder engine and most of the interior. All the bodywork is realised in carbonfibre, making the 1000 SP lighter than the 4C.
The new 1000 SP will be badged as an Abarth Classiche. Production starts in 2022 in collaboration with approved partners.
For the full story and an exclusive interview with Roberto Giolito, Head of FCA Heritage and designer of the Abarth 1000 SP, pick up a copy of the February 2022 issue of Auto Italia, on sale 6 January 2022.