The adrenaline-fuelled Abarth 124 Rally was among the star cars of the show when it made its UK dynamic debut at this year’s Abarth Day. Our motoring journalist, Tim Barnes-Clay, went along to the event at Rockingham Speedway in Northamptonshire.
Last Saturday (20 May), the two-seater 124 Rally, run by Team Bernini Rally, gave visitors the chance of hot lap passenger rides around the high-speed track. The 300hp rally car made its first on-track UK appearance and offered the opportunity for guests to see the expertise of the Bernini rally team.
Among the features at Abarth Day was an area dedicated to showing the brand’s modern vehicles, as well as one for classic cars. In addition, there was an Abarth VR Simulator Racing Challenge complementing an intensive and exciting programme for fans. The special day was designed for all Abarth enthusiasts, whether they owned a car or not. But those who’d arrived at the event in their own Abarth had the chance to drive their car on the track, following the purchase of a driver ticket.
We caught up with Abarth UK’s Brand Manager, Gerry Southerington, at the beginning of Abarth Day. He said: “This will be a full day of Abarth-style activity for all. I’ve been looking forward to this event, which I believe enables all Abarth fans to get their adrenaline going on the track, while sharing the passion for the Scorpion brand.” Gerry added: “You don’t have to be an Abarth owner to visit these Abarth Days – indeed, we welcome anyone who is interested in finding out more about Abarth and its exciting range of cars. ”
Meanwhile, Abarth Day also starred the new Abarth 595 Trofeo with its hi-tech Uconnect system, which is able to map drivers’ on-track performance. The 595 Trofeo version is the latest addition to the marque’s striking 595 range. With a starting price of £17,290 on the road for the 1.4 TJet 160hp hatchback, the Trofeo blends performance and technological innovation with value for money. The new Trofeo is available in manual hatchback and convertible versions and comes equipped with a potent petrol engine, complete with a Record Monza exhaust.
The car comes in a choice of five exterior colours – Abarth Red, Gara White, Campovolo Grey, Record Grey or Scorpione Black – with complementing front and rear dam inserts and wing mirrors, in yellow, black or red. The look is completed with17-inch matt black Formula Alloy wheels.
A key feature of the Trofeo is the 7-inch Uconnect infotainment system with Abarth Telemetry, which allows you to load famous European race tracks. Selecting them during track sessions brings up detailed maps and displays real-time tips to improve lap times. You can then access your recorded sessions and analyse your performance at any time. The Uconnect system is also equipped with Apple CarPlay/Android Auto – which pairs with an iPhone/Android Phone in the car, allowing access to maps, music, and messaging, using voice assistance and Uconnect technology.
“The new Trofeo is a novel and exciting idea for the 595 range,” Gerry Southerington told us. “The extra standard equipment means it’s excellent value for money, while the technology such as the telemetry, makes it an ideal choice for customers who want to test their car’s performance on a racetrack. It’s a winning combination.”