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Concept Car of the Week: Abarth 2000 (1969)

Fri, 28 Jun 2013

In 1969, a few years before it was sold to Fiat, Abarth and Pininfarina worked together to develop an attractive sports car prototype.

Simply called Abarth 2000 after the displacement of its engine, this red beauty features a sleek wedge silhouette with a roof only 970mm from the ground.

The bonnet connects with the pillarless wraparound windscreen for 180-degree vision. It dives under the large panel that covers the engine bay, reminiscent of a turtle's shell. A large window over the engine bay offers a perfect view over the engine, with black louvers on each side. The engine is also partly visible from behind, with the body arched around a ridiculously oversized exhaust pipe from which you would expect to see flames coming out.

To get access to the cabin, the entire canopy opens forward so you can jump in, but two little doors makes entry a little more elegant. The dials and steering wheel were all mounted on the crossbeam, providing a very airy and modern feel.

Despite its exhaust, red coloring, white stripes and the Abarth Scorpion, the beast is not powered by a monstrous V8 or even a V6, but a four-cylinder 16-valve 2.0-liter. This carburetor engine produced 220bhp transferred to the rear wheels, and thanks to its low weight and low air resistance this concept was supposedly able to reach a top speed of 275km/h.

Nowadays, it is owned by the renowned Japanese collector Shiro Kosaka, and is one of the jewels in his collection of Italian automotive masterpieces.

Length 3,780mm
Height 970mm
Width 1,780mm
Wheelbase 2,085mm
Engine 1946cc four-cylinder 16V
Power 220bhp

Your author, Flavien Dachet, is a UK-based, French-born car designer. You may know him as the purveyor of KarzNshit, a photo blog that if isn't already in your bookmarks, certainly should be.

By Flavien Dachet