Abarth Roadster - Like A Lotus, But Not?

Not the new Abarth roadster...
Not the new Abarth roadster...
Abarth will unveil a bespoke mid-engined roadster in 2012 - and latest reports suggest it won't be based on the KTM X-Bow or Lotus Elise as previously thought.

Abarth's unique sports car, which will hit showrooms early in 2013, will be a nod to the 1960s, when Abarth produced a series of bespoke-bodied sports and racing cars.

According to an Autocar report, the new car will echo the layout of the Lotus Elise, employing a transverse, mid-mounted layout, a similar roof mechanism and even similar proportions. Power, as expected, will come from Fiat's new MultiAir engine range, while transmitting the power will be Fiat Auto's soon-to-be-launched dual-clutch gearbox.

It is also reported that the roadster will be pitched at around £25,000 - which is presumably one of the main reasons for Fiat's rejection of the ultra-expensive, carbon fibre-heavy KTM X-Bow being used as the basis for the car.

And it might just be our imaginations, but could it be possible that Fiat's decision not to use Lotus as its engineering partner for the Abarth roadster has something to do with the fact that Lotus CEO Dany Bahar is ex-Ferrari? Is this a good ol' Italian blood feud? Who knows...

Comments (69) Join the discussion on the forum

  • filski666 27 Oct 2010

    The basis of this car changes more regularly than a popstar's haircut.

    Is it just some Italian pipe dream that will never see the light of day?

    I really hope it does happen, but hope it stays pure and focused, and doesn't water down to something more "mainstream"

    Edited by filski666 on Wednesday 27th October 10:36

  • MarJay 27 Oct 2010

    So its a car that is going to have a ridiculously powerful, ridiculously economical engine, which is ridiculously light and ridiculously cheap?

    I think there is a ridiculously low chance of it meeting all of those criteria.

  • Riggers 27 Oct 2010

    filski666 said:
    The basis of this car changes more regularly than a popstar's haircut.

    Is it just some Italian pipe dream that will never see the light of day?

    I really hope it does happen, but hope it stays pure and focused, and doesn't water down to something more "mainstream"

    Edited by filski666 on Wednesday 27th October 10:36
    I think the key is going to be finding enough sales to justify the massive investment involved in creating a car like this from scratch - there is no room for vanity projects in the automotive industry at the moment.

  • Ug_lee 27 Oct 2010

    Won't all the development costs be tied up in the chassis as the rest will be sourced from the FIAT parts bin?

    A lot of manufacturers have done this in the past and made decent returns from a relatively small development cost. Hopefully they can do it here as there isn't a massive choice of cheap mid-engine sports cars at the moment.

  • itiejim 27 Oct 2010

    Good luck to them. Their aspirations can't be any more ambitious than those of Lotus...

    FIAT have come up with lots of ground breaking and innovative ideas over the years so it'll be interesting to see what they can do with a project like this.

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