On May 4, 1950, at the 32nd Turin Motor Show, Carlo Abarth presented the “Abarth Exhaust,” probably the best-known accessory in the renowned conversion kits that brought worldwide fame to the Scorpion brand. Today, the founder’s performance concept – taken as research and development into innovative solutions – can also be seen in the sophisticated “Record Monza” exhaust systems fitted to the latest generation Abarths.
Abarth is also celebrating this special anniversary on social media, by inviting its community to take part in a virtual flashmob. With a typically Abarth call to arms, the brand is inviting its community to let their voices be heard: users will be asked to upload an Instagram Story with an impression of the sound of their exhaust in their own voice, under the hashtag #TheRumbleLipChallenge. Basically, a challenge for real Abarthisti.
That community is one of the pillars of the Scorpion brand: there are now 83 official clubs, almost twice as many as in 2016, as well as “The Scorpionship” group, active in the EMEA region for four years, with more than 114,000 subscribers. This group of enthusiasts and fans continue to support the brand through these difficult times, showing we can remain united even at a distance.
The Abarth Exhaust: from Sporting Triumph to Commercial Success
In 1949, Carlo Abarth founded Abarth & C., with the great foresight of adding attentiveness to the general public to his exploits on the racetrack. The result was the conversion kits for cars produced as standard, which increased their power, maximum speed and acceleration.
A distinctive feature of the renowned tuning kits is the exhaust system, which would become a true icon of the “Abarth style” over the years. The official debut took place at the Turin Motor Show on May 4 and was an immediate success.
The first prototypes included a simple yet innovative system, giving his products a clear performance advantage and an unmistakable muffled yet full sound. Within a few years, Abarth & C. had gone global: in 1962, with a staff of 375, it produced 257,000 exhausts, 65% of which were exported.
Its success was immediate and extraordinary. The first 50 units were built for the Fiat “Topolino”. It could be fitted to many Fiat models – from the 600 and 1100 to the 1400 and 1500 – but the resounding success came with Fiat’s icon: the legendary 500. Carlo Abarth fell in love with it, leading to the creation of the first Fiat-Abarth 595, which began its winning streak on all kinds of tracks. At the same time, the brand also debuted its famous “Abarth tuning kits” for adjustments to the 500, becoming an object of desire for the general public.
The New “Record Monza” Exhaust System and its Unmistakable Sound
Since the launch of the new Abarth 595 in 2008, the brand has revived the Abarth sports exhaust, to reproduce the Scorpion brand’s classic sound. In particular, the double chrome tailpipe revisits the design of the system adopted by the 595 Assetto Corse racing version, confirming that the racetrack is the ideal laboratory to test solutions that could one day be used in roadgoing cars.
Following the same design philosophy, in 2009 the Abarth brand launched a kit known as the “Record Monza” exhaust system. The name is a clear tribute to the speed record achieved by Carlo Abarth on the historic Italian circuit, where he broke the quarter-mile acceleration record in 1965, at the age of 57. The powerful sound is the result of a perfect combination of Dual Mode technology with four tailpipes, and its bold design. In detail, Dual Mode technology involves a two-way mechanically controlled valve inserted upstream of the tailpipe, to boost the exhaust backpressure curve.
In 2011 it was the turn of the “Record Modena” kit, the main feature of which is the powerful, bold sound produced by high-performance exhausts based on the most advanced technology, including the Dual Mode system, alongside an eye-catching, sporty design. We can witness a much more muffled, darker sound from the dual exhaust Akrapovič system, fitted with an active electronic valve, switched on by pressing the Sport button.
2018 marked the debut of the new Abarth 595 and its “Record Monza Attivo” exhaust system, with its special feature an active valve controlled by the Sport button on the dashboard. While the exhaust valve opening had previously been based on exhaust gas pressure, the driver could now take direct action to choose between a “gentleman driver” sound and a darker, feistier, typically Abarth roar. The result is a powerful, bold sound, an ideal combination of technology and design. The “Record Monza Attivo” exhaust system is now available as standard on the 595 Competizione, 595 Pista and 695 70° Anniversario models.