Back before it was bought by Fiat, Abarth was up to all sorts of weird and wonderful things. One involved borrowing the engine from a Fiat 600, chucking it in a chassis designed for the ‘Sport Prototipo’ class of the time, and adorning it with simple yet elegant body panels.
It was called the 1000 SP, and Abarth describes it today as a “milestone” in its extensive motorsport history, chalking up various wins including a class victory at the 1966 Nürburgring 500km. As you’ve probably gathered, it’s the dainty little car seen to the left in the above image. The one on the right? Technically that’s not an Abarth at all.
Under its retro-styled lines is a carbon fibre tub with an aluminium front subframe, double wishbone front suspension and MacPherson struts at the rear. Mounted just behind the cockpit is a 1742cc inline-four engine providing 237bhp for the rear wheels.
Sound familiar? It should, as that’s the genetic makeup for the Alfa Romeo 4C. Not that you need to check through all the technical details to work out the donor car used for the SP - the car’s side profile is pretty unmistakable. Despite this, the press release makes no mention of the relatively short-lived sports car.
The question is, do you think it improves upon the styling of the 4C Spider? We’re digging the front-end treatment, but the rear end looks like a hefty old thing. Then again, sitting a modern car next to its equivalent from decades ago never does the former any favours. You can thank things like crumple zones for that.
Whether you’re a fan of the looks or not is beside the point - this isn’t something you’ll be able to buy. Like the original SP, this car is set to be a one-off. We’d imagine it’ll spend most of its time in either the fabulous Stellantis/FCA Heritage Hub in Turin, or at the Abarth HQ the other side of the Italian city. The SP homage will still have a chance to shine, though, with Abarth promising to run the car at “major events focused on vintage cars” this Autumn.