It’s been 40 years since its last official rally appearance at the 1976 Monte Carlo Rally, and now Abarth are trying to make a return to the glory days with their new creation, the 124 Rally.
The car is dedicated to all of the Abarth racing enthusiasts. This proves true under the bonnet, with the 124 Rally producing 224 kW from the turbocharged 1.8-litre engine, thanks to selectable maps. The torque curve has been tuned with spirited driving in mind.
Even the transmission was designed to enhance performance. The motor is coupled to a quick 6-speed sequential gearbox with shift paddles and traction is assured by the mechanical limited slip diff and fully re-designed suspension.
The 124 Rally was designed to be as light and balanced as possible. For this reason, the engine is mounted behind the front axle. The cockpit and the engine compartment are made from light, resistant materials, while the soft top was replaced by a fixed composite hard top.
The result of all these changes now means that the weight distribution leans slightly towards the rear axle, for maximum traction and driving enjoyment. The centre of gravity is lower than that on the road car as well.
The 124 Rally meets FIA R-GT homologation spec by having a full roll cage to ensure safety for the occupants in the event of a high speed accident. The interior has also been ergonomically designed to make life easier for the driver and co-driver.
Fiat plan to make a proper return to the rally stage by teaming up with some of the biggest names in motorsport.
Among these, Petronas Selenia that has always been at the forefront in developing technologically advanced and high performance lubricants and it has contributed in the engine development. Adler Pelzer Group was greatly involved in making crafting composite components for the car and Michelin is the technical partner for tyre development.
The Abarth 124 rally project is also a great showcase for a number of Italian companies which have been involved in racing for many years. As is the case for Sabelt, one of the leading brands in bucket-seats, seatbelts and other safety equipment. Kappa, the leading sportswear brand, is responsible for the kit worn by the entire “Abarth Squadra Corse”.
In terms of the mechanics of the car, LM Gianetti, a company born some 40 years ago and witnessed the development of the first Abarth 124 Rally, has closely worked with Abarth’s Technical Team to completely re-engineer the bodywork and the suspensions scheme. While EXT SHOX has contributed with its specific know-how in the development of 4-way adjustable dampers used for the first time in a Rally car.
BMC has supported the team in developing the air-intake system, which is crucial for constant and reliable engine performance. The lightweight, but at the same time robust racing wheels, have been developed and crafted by OZ, another big name in motorsport.
In conclusion, as for the road-going model, the interior has been completely revamped in Alcantara, this contributes to saving weight and reducing sun reflections towards the interior of the car, allowing no interferences for the driver enhancing the driver grip on the steering wheel.
The new 124 Rally was developed with the best technology available today, and contributes to bring back sweet memories from the past of rallying in the 70’s were competitions were more engaging and gathering massive crowds.