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Carlo Abarth founded his car company from the ashes of the failed Cisitalia car manufacturer in 1949, in Bologna, Italy. Having been born under the star sign of Scorpio, Abarth chose the scorpion as the logo for his new company.
The original cars were based on the final Cisitalia models, and Abarth produced accessory parts for other brands as well as building its own road and race cars. In 1952, Abarth began its formal association with Fiat, and ultimately Carlo Abarth sold the company to Fiat in 1971.
Abarth’s road car programme came to an end under Fiat control, and the brand became the official racing and rallying department for the Fiat brand, ultimately being merged into the Fiat group’s overall motorsport department for both the Fiat and Lancia brands.
In 2007, the brand was relaunched by the Fiat group as the performance department of the Fiat brand. The company currently produces upgraded versions of the Fiat 500, 500C and 124 Spider. There have long been rumours that a unique Abarth model would be released, but as yet this has not happened.
Abarth Cars UK sold just over 2,700 cars in the UK in 2015, but is expected to see this grow by over 1,000 units for 2016. This is in part due to addition of the new Abarth 124 Spider model to the range. Abarth models are sold through selected Fiat dealers in the UK.