Sam Philip29 September 2009

Dirt ’Bath

Fiat reveals rally version of Abarth 500. It has loads of lights and stripes and stickers, and we want to play

Abarth 500 R3T

Today is becoming a good day for small, fast things. We've already seen the Renaultsport Twingo Mug, and now Fiat has revealed its 500-based rally car.

It is called the Abarth 500 R3T and, ahhhh, isn't it cute? The beefed-up Cinq is ready to race in Group R3T rallies, a class comprising cars with turbocharged engines smaller than 1.6 litres.

Like the road-going Abarth, the rally 500 is powered by Fiat's 1.4-litre petrol engine, with a bigger turbo boosting power to 178bhp, 20bhp more than the Esseesse.

Weighing it at just 1,080kg, it should be a riot to drive. The 500 R3T gets a six-speed sequential gearbox, proper racing diff and adjustable suspension. Fiat says it's the ideal car to introduce younger racers to rallying without the terrifying running costs associated with the higher groups.

More importantly, it has loads of lights and Italian racing stripes and big white wheels and stickers! What's not to love?

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