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Monday, February 6, 2023

Abarth SP 1000 factory restomod entering very limited production

In May 2021, Abarth created a one-off roadster to celebrate the brand’s racing history, called the Alfa Romeo Abarth 1000. Based on the Alfa Romeo 4C Spider, this was a factory-made callback to the 1966 Fiat Abarth 1000 Sport Prototipo, a highly successful competition car designed for gentlemen racers who wanted to do more than just show up, but who wanted to win. The UK’s Auto Italia magazine tweeted that FCA Heritage chief Roberto Giolito said the carmaker would produce at least five customer units of the new Abarth 1000, with a price of around £170,000 each ($228,500 U.S.) Details beyond that must wait for the February issue of Auto Italia, due to hit newsstands on January 6 for UK readers.

If this happens, it could close the circle on what the 4C was originally meant to be. Legend says the idea for the carbon-tubbed 4C should have spawned a hardcore Fiat that channeled the 1966 Abarth 1000. However, since the 4C took many of its cues and much of its technology from the limited-edition Alfa Romeo 8C Competizione, it stuck to being a halo sports car for Alfa Romeo and all other branchings got pruned. Giolito likely reveals more in the interview, seeing as he was head of Fiat and Abarth design from 2011 to 2015. The reboot suits the modern 4C save for the high, 21st-century shoulder line. The 1966 car’s low pointy nose, curvy fenders and myriad vents and scoops fit great, and we also dig the exposed roll bar and cut-down rear cowls.

For such an expensive restomod, we might have wished for some mechanical changes. It appears there’s no change to the 4C’s mechanicals, with a 1,742-cc turbocharged four-cylinder sending its 237 horsepower to the rear wheels through a six-speed dual-clutch transmission. As such, this should probably be called the Abarth 1740 SP or 1700 SP rather than 1000, since the original was named after the displacement of the modified Fiat 600 engine it used. The original weighed 1,058 pounds dry and had 105 horsepower; the 2,465-pound production 4C won’t feel as spry, but should perform a little better. Once British readers get the skinny from the magazine interview, we should know more.

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