Carlo Abarth’s “performance concept” went way beyond a quest for pure power, maximum speed, and acceleration. His thoughts turned to all-round performance, and therefore to research and development into innovative technical solutions, to improve aerodynamics, road holding and brake power.
“In the same spirit, we have produced the Spoiler ad Assetto Variabile, which made its debut a few months ago on the limited edition Abarth 695 70° Anniversario,” stated Luca Napolitano, Head of EMEA Fiat & Abarth Brands. “It is one of the best and most iconic aerodynamic solutions for a road car, developed on the basis of the philosophy of our founder, who studied aerodynamics on the track and on everyday roads. The epitome of the application of aerodynamics can be seen in the renowned, multi-prize winning 1960 “silver torpedo” Abarth 1000 Bialbero Record Pininfarina, which smashed multiple speed records, and in the later, equally famous 1966 Abarth 1000 Corsa, one of the first cars in the world to feature a resin spoiler.”
The new Abarth 695 70° Anniversario pays tribute to this very record with its new Spoiler ad Assetto Variabile, a characteristically Abarth racing component that also recalls the spoiler of the 1980s Lancia Delta Integrale, which produced the sensation of being a real rally driver when on the road.
The Spoiler ad Assetto Variabile and all its secrets
The fruition of the work of Abarth engineers in the FCA wind tunnel in Orbassano, near Turin, and on the Vallelunga circuit near Rome, the Spoiler ad Assetto Variabile improves the car’s aerodynamic performance and therefore increases grip on fast mixed courses and stability at high speeds. For Carlo Abarth, performance was a constant requirement, especially on the racetrack. Just like in a race, where it is not unusual to see technicians manually fine-tune the spoiler tilt so the driver can set the car’s behavior according to the course and his driving style, the spoiler fitted to the Abarth 695 70° Anniversario can also be manually adjusted, into 12 positions with tilt ranging from 0° to 60°. In an attempt to offer maximum flexibility, drivers are given the option to adjust the spoiler depending on the course they are about to tackle, as well as positioning it as they wish, regardless of performance
At maximum tilt (60°), at a speed of 200 km/h, the spoiler increases aerodynamic load to 42 kg. Especially on fast mixed courses, this ensures excellent vehicle dynamics and improved stability at high speeds. A concrete example would be the “Rome Curve” at the Vallelunga circuit. The Spoiler ad Assetto Variabile can reduce steering correction by almost 40%, for a “cleaner” and more efficient drive, giving the driver greater confidence to push back the limits. Optimization of aerodynamics also affects acoustics, curated ideally to reduce turbulence, for a more comfortable daily run around.
To achieve such a technical level, the new Abarth 695 70° Anniversario was tested in the full-scale aerodynamic wind tunnel at Orbassano, south of Turin, where FCA puts its vehicles through their paces. This center of excellence made it possible to develop and test the Spoiler ad Assetto Variabile on the Abarth 695 70° Anniversario, in all possible configurations and various conditions of vehicle attitude.
Aerodynamics and its earliest application, the first resin spoiler for the 1966 racing Abarth
From 1956 to 1966, Scorpion cars set as many as 133 records, the result of extreme use of the concepts and laws of aerodynamics. This illustrious history includes the 8 astonishing records broken by the Abarth 1000 Bialbero Record Pininfarina in 1960. Largely thanks to the implementation of the laws of aerodynamic efficiency, the Abarth 1000 Bialbero Record Pininfarina was immediately nicknamed the “silver torpedo,” for its sleek streamlining. Developed in the wind tunnel at the Polytechnic University of Turin, the new aerodynamics resulted in an exceptional Cx of 0.20.
But coming back to the founder’s slogan of “Sunday on the track, Monday in the office,” it proved necessary to improve the aerodynamics of “normal” racing cars, too. Abarth did so by combining work on the official team and the production of racing components with sporting and commercial success. By the 1970s, Abarth sports tuning kits had converted city cars into race winners, opening the way for many young drivers to start a successful career in racing.
The first model to benefit from these aerodynamic insights and knowledge was the Abarth 1000 Corsa (the racing version of the roadgoing 600). In 1962, its wins were ubiquitous, crossing the finish line with a famously open rear bonnet, which, apart from dissipating the heat from the engine, clearly resulted in an aerodynamic advantage.
The ingenious Abarth then produced a resin spoiler in 1966, becoming one of the first companies to take advantage of that component on a racing car. The Abarth 695 70° Anniversario Spoiler ad Assetto Variabile pays tribute to this record, proving that the racetrack has always been the ideal testing ground for the Abarth brand to test technical and technological solutions before fitting them to roadgoing Scorpion cars.