You may remember the Abarth 1000 SP — a Alfa 4C-based, coachbuilt-style concept from about a year and a half ago that was very divisive in its design. I hated it, some of you loved it, and it seemed as though that would be the last we’d hear of it. Abarth, however, had other plans in mind. The brand just confirmed the car will be built in limited numbers. These will be the final 4C Spiders, paying tribute to Abarth’s rich motorsport history.
The idea for the Classiche 1000 SP, as it’s now known, actually formed alongside the 4C more than a decade ago. But while the 4C went on to enjoy a respectable production run, the 1000 SP remained in the drawer. The concept completed last year picked up from where those original sketches left off, imbued with plenty of references to its inspiration, the 1000 Sport Prototipo, as Abarth explains:
Today the lines and aesthetic elements that shaped its ancestor echo strongly in the new Abarth Classiche 1000 SP. The car’s body – sinuous, with bold curvaceous mudguards that reinforce the visual impact of the wheels – echoes the layout of the central-engined spider. The cockpit windscreen, which protects even the tallest pilots from strong air currents, boasts the famous sculpted side deflectors, with a low profile sweeping up towards the roll-bar. The roll-bar is deliberately “exposed”, further underlining that we’re facing an all-out one-hundred percent spider.
Further design touches: the rear geometries of the new Abarth Classiche 1000 SP emphasise the perfect harmony between the back headlights and exhausts, and also the open slots for engine cooling which echo those of its glorious ancestor. The paintwork is categorically red and - a quotation that rolls back the years - the characteristic air intakes appear all over the car body, from the “slit” vents on the front hood to the cooling “slots” on its rear. The lights too respect the minimalist scheme of the historic 1000 SP, with point-like headlamps on the nose and a single pair of round headlights at the back, to emphasise the car’s impressive width.
Now knowing that the 1000 SP’s basic design dates back some 13 years, I can better understand why the car looks as... soft as it does. Sitting next to its inspiration, the Classiche 1000 SP sort of looks like if you peeled away its shell, you’d find another original Sport Prototipo underneath. It’s kind of chunky.
Of course, what’s actually inside the Classiche 1000 SP is the running gear of a 4C — from its 1.75-liter, mid-mounted, turbocharged inline-four to its carbon-fiber tub chassis with front and rear aluminum subframes, double-wishbone front suspension and MacPherson strut rear. If you want one, Abarth recommends that you shoot it an email. It’s unclear how many will be made, but the “1000" in the car’s name definitely does not refer to manufacturing numbers in this instance.