The Abarth 1000 SP is a sports car, not a retrimmed 500 | Top Gear
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Saturday 9th December
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The Abarth 1000 SP is a sports car, not a retrimmed 500

Crikey, Abarth's made something new. Meet the Alfa 4C-esque Sport Prototipo

Published: 17 May 2021
 

Well isn’t this a delightful surprise? After seemingly endless Fiat 500 spin-offs, Abarth has treated us to something else. An open-top speedster with racing heritage, nonetheless.

Meet the Abarth 1000 SP, standing for Sport Prototipo. It’s a sadly one-off special that harks back to the 1000 SP of the 1960s, which it’s pictured alongside here, the older car looking impossibly slender. While the 2021 interpretation looks… like a rebodied Alfa Romeo 4C.

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Which it would appear to be. A 1.7-litre 4cyl turbo engine beneath its rear deck produces 237bhp, just like in the similarly carbon-tubbed Alfa.

“The points and lines of the original car’s design were respected to ensure continuity between the ’60s sports car and the concept car of the new millennium,” says Abarth. Bet you’ve not thought of us being in ‘the new millennium’ since the final embers of your Y2K bug anxiety fizzled out.

Indeed, Abarth says this is the Sixties 1000 SP’s design reimagined with modern aerodynamic and ergonomic standards in mind. It’s hard to believe it’s a slipperier shape, seeing how much bulkier it looks, but we’ll take the engineers’ word for it.

The original was spun from an Alfa sports car project, too, so there’s no ignorance of heritage. The original also won its class in the 1966 Nürburgring 500km, but expect no such tribute here: Abarth says that the new 1000 SP “will be taking part in major events focused on vintage cars”. Hopefully they involve it being driven with commitment rather than just parked on lawns.

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What do you reckon? Time to erect some placards and protest ‘til there’s a full production run?

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