HG Motorsports Abarth Track Spec
Can a standard model Fiat 500 Abarth feel, behave and sound like a go-kart? Jordan Jadallah, a karter from his early days, hoped that it could and was determined to make it happen.
The Necessary Changes
While few in number, Jordan’s requirements were significant. His most important concern centered on the vehicle’s relative lack of engine power. If any car hopes to hit the track, a dynamic engine is of paramount importance. While an upgrade to the brakes took second honors, Jordan also hoped to increase the vehicle’s traction, stabilize the suspension and improve the seating position. With the hope of turning his Fiat 500 Abarth into a serious racing contender, he turned to HG Motorsports for help.
Augmenting the Engine
Although the MultiAir engine in the Abarth is no slouch, there’s always room for improvements. HG Motorsports began by installing a cold air intake augmented by an HG Race Spec downpipe. Along with a larger, HG Motorsports front-mount intercooler, airflow was increased significantly. With an HG power plug connecting these enhancements, the synergistic effect added “25 horsepower throughout the entire RPM range”.
Sharpening the Suspension
Fast speeds and quick maneuvers demand sturdy suspensions, and the original Fiat equipment failed to cut the mustard. The installation of Neuspeed swaybars and springs vastly improved the car’s maneuverability.
Beefing Up the Brakes
The quicker a vehicle aims to travel, the faster it needs to be able to stop. Racing speeds put any set of brakes to the test, and unless they’re entirely up to snuff, a car could cover somewhat more ground than its driver intended. In this case, a brake kit from Race Technologies, a Brembo partner, added go-kart like stopping power.
Whipping the Wheels into Shape
Bigger wheels were needed to handle increase horsepower, plus they just look better. A clearance upgrade gave HG Motorsports room to install a tire of sufficient size to complement the added horsepower.
The End Result
As its owner had hoped, his Fiat 500 Abarth now handles more like a go-kart than a cruiser. While the increased braking ability was immediately apparent, the gains in acceleration were most noticed in second and third gear. The greatest benefit, however, could be the advanced maneuverability that turned a basic runabout into a creditable racer. For this particular Fiat 500 Abarth, the green flags could be up for a winning run.