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Thursday, June 23, 2016

FCA IN FOREFRONT AT “GOODWOOD FESTIVAL OF SPEED 2016”

From 23 to 26 June, the English county of West Sussex will host one of the most prestigious events of international motor sports. Making an appearance at the happening will be several rare classic cars of the Alfa Romeo, Abarth and Fiat brands, along with the latest new FCA models, to reassert the eternal link between the icons of the past and the cars currently being produced.

FCA is taking part in the 2016 edition of the famous "Goodwood Festival of Speed" that will take place from 23 to 26 June in the English county of West Sussex. It is considered one of the most important international events dedicated to motor sports. The event, comprising the Hillclimb Race, themed shows and exhibitions of historical and current cars, annually draws a crowd of more than 150,000 fans and collectors from around the world.

Also taking part in the prestigious event are several rare classic Alfa Romeo, Abarth and Fiat vehicles from the FCA Heritage collection, the new structure that coordinates all the company's activities in the world of classic motoring. In particular, the Alfa Romeo brand is displaying models such as the Giulia TI Super (1963), 1750 GT Am (1970), 33 TT 12 (1975) and 33.3-litre Le Mans (1970), all belonging to the Alfa Romeo Historic Museum in Arese named "La macchina del tempo" (information and opening hours on the site www.museoalfaromeo.com). The line-up is completed with the legendary 124 Abarth Rally Gr. 4 (1975) and the Fiat S 61 Corsa (1908).

The classic cars will be on display at the Brooklands Paddock, and some of them will face the main attraction of the Festival of Speed, the "mixed-fast" track of the Goodwood Hillclimb. The track almost 2-kilometres long begins with a tree-lined road going through the southern corner of the Goodwood Estate, to then turn decisively in front of the Goodwood House before climbing up a fraught and narrow road enclosed by stone walls and thick forests heading toward the racetrack, which dominates on the top of the majestic South Downs. It should be noted that the difference in track height from start to finish is nearly 100 metres, and it is particularly technical and difficult, to the point of putting a strain on the skills of concentration and speed of the best drivers in the world.

Finally, these rare vehicles will be accompanied by the latest new FCA models, confirming that eternal link between the icons of the past and the vehicles currently produced by the group. On hand to represent Alfa Romeo will be the 4C Spider supercar, the brand's modern icon, and the new Giulietta and Mito which have recently been refreshed and now display a strong family feeling with the new Giulia. It is precisely the latter that will be the undisputed star of the English event - in the Super and Quadrifoglio versions - which not only makes the brand's most authentic statement, but is also a symbol of Italian technological excellence and styling.

The English event is also the perfect opportunity to get a close-up look at the latest Abarth products, ranging from the new Abarth 124 spider, a genuine roadster that guarantees all the excitement and pleasure of driving a high performance car developed by the Abarth Racing Team, to the new Abarth 595 Competizione, the evolution of the Abarth icon that has won over enthusiasts worldwide from 2008 to present. The spotlight is also trained on the new Abarth 124 Rally, a concentrate of pure technology and performance resulting from the Abarth Racing Team's experience to bring the brand back to the most glorious and demanding rally races.

A special mention goes to the fully immersive experience based on Virtual Reality technology that will allow the guests of the brand's stand to uncover every single detail of the new Abarth 124 spider. By using a dedicated tool and aided by latest generation technologies, users will be able to move around the car, open its doors, sit inside and press the accelerator pedal to savour the sound of its engine and tailpipes, all immersed in a virtual reality. They will also have the chance to configure the new Abarth 124 spider to their liking and receive the configuration by email should they want to purchase it from any Abarth dealer.

The excitement of driving Abarth cars can be relived through membership of "The Scorpionship", the only official community dedicated to Abarth owners, collectors, club-members and enthusiasts. Registration on the scorpionship.abarth.com website brings with it a series of major advantages, promotions and opportunities, also in relation to racing events and exclusive invitations to encounters for Abarth fans.

A short description of the classic cars presented to the public at the "Goodwood Festival of Speed 2016" follows.

Alfa Romeo Giulia TI Super (1963)

The revolutionary and groundbreaking Giulia saloon debuted in 1962. The advertising claim terms it "designed by the wind" was inspired by the Giulia's outstanding drag coefficient of 0.34, a value which would still be competitive on today's market. This sports saloon became the backbone of Alfa Romeo's line-up and depicts the production link between the company's Portello and Arese plants.

The Giulia was the first mass-produced car with a five-speed transmission and one of the first with a differentiated body structure: in the event of a collision the passenger compartment held its shape, ensuring greater passenger safety. The Giulia's 1600 four-cylinder engine had a crankcase and cylinder head made of aluminium rather than cast iron, was essentially derived from the Giulia "milletrè" (launched in 1954) and was an extremely sophisticated and high-performance engine with long durability. The exceptional dynamics and design features of the Giulia, in its various guises, garnered incredible results in races. The Giulia TI Super, launched in 1963 (112 HP and 190 km/h), is the rarest and most prestigious Giulia saloon. Only 501 of this ready-to-race version were produced, almost all of them in Biancospino White, with the Quadrifoglio cloverleaf emblem on the side panels and boot and with the bodywork streamlined to further improve its already excellent performance. The TI Super nurtured a generation of racing drivers who eventually graduated to higher formulas, having put themselves in the spotlight with victories and rankings achieved behind the wheel of the Alfa Romeo saloon. The Giulia TI Super is particularly suited to road races, as it proved by memorably winning its category in the 1963 Tour de France Auto, one of its greatest successes. Over a million units had been built by the time the Giulia series reached the end of its long production run.

Alfa Romeo 1750 GT Am (1970)

Four round headlights, a raised and aggressive profile and prominent wheel arches are the features that recall the technologically advanced spirit of the "Alfa Giulia GTA" series. The name GT Am (where "Am" stands for "America") refers to the version sold on the North American market since Alfa Romeo used the 1750 GTV version with injection as its homologation model in the United States. With only 40 units built, the GT Am was fuelled by Spica or Lucas mechanical injection that unleashed up to 220 HP of power at 7200 rpm from its 2-litre engine. Steel plate was chosen for its bodywork, but a considerable reduction in weight of 150 kg out of the total 900 kg was however achieved by using plastic side and rear panels. This solution offered Autodelta the chance to reach spectacular results. In 1970 it won the European Touring Car Championship with the Dutchman Toine Hezemans, and in the following year it placed first in the manufacturers category. Outstanding drivers like Hezemans, Andrea de Adamich, Carlo Facetti and Nino Vaccarella were able to develop the car's full potential - which could deliver up to 240 HP at 7500 rpm and whiz along at 230 km/h - and even challenged the 3-litre BMW CSL, the Ford Capri and the 5-litre Chevrolet. Three Alfa Romeo GT Ams lined up behind a 3-litre BMW Alpina to place second, third and fourth at the 1970 Spa 24 Hours. It was a golden age in motor racing for Alfa Romeo.

Alfa Romeo 33 TT 12 (1975)

The 33 TT 12 appeared on 5 May 1973 at the "1000 km of Spa-Francorchamps", when the World Sportscar Championship was experiencing a time of great popularity and was a ground for major car makers to prove their worth (including Alfa Romeo with the prolific "33" family). The number "33" had been introduced in 1967 and has by now become a legend. The letters "TT" stood for "Telaio Tubolare" (tubular chassis), derived from its predecessor the "33 TT3" with a V8 engine, while "12" was the number of cylinders of the unprecedented three-litre boxer engine capable of delivering in excess of 500 HP and a speed of 330 km/h. The mechanical innovations were complemented by an unusual, yet unmistakable aerodynamic body with two side fins and a very obvious air intake "periscope".

The year of its appearance, 1973, was also dedicated to developing the new Sport Prototype. The 33 TT 12 started reaping its first wins one year later, in 1974. The big wins came in 1975: the best drivers of the day dominated seven of the eight races on the calendar and won the coveted World Championship title, Alfa Romeo's fourth. The "heroes" of the 33 TT 12 were Andretti, Bell, Brambilla, Ickx, Lafitte, Mass, Merzario, Pescarolo, Scheckter, Stommellen and Vaccarella.

33/3-litre Le Mans (1970)

The 33/3-litre with six-speed gearbox is the development of the previous "2-litre" version. It was fitted out with a 2998 cc, 8-cylinder "V" engine with 4 valves and indirect injection and delivered 400 HP at 8000 rpm. The monocoque bodyshell chassis was formed by aluminium and titanium panels with a wheelbase practically the same as the 33/2. Its top speed was 330 km/h, and it was the 1971 version that collected the highest number of wins, including the one at the Targa Florio with Vaccarella and Hezemans.

124 Abarth Rally Gr. 4 (1975)

Compared to the Fiat 124 Sport Spider from which it was derived, Fiat 124 Abarth Rally Gr. 4 of 1975 has a more powerful engine, is lighter in weight owing to the roof and bonnets made of fibreglass and its aluminium doors, is appreciably stronger both structurally and mechanically, and was given MacPherson independent suspension at the rear axle plus new parts specifically for sports use, such as lightweight alloy rims, roll bar, fixed hard top and bucket seats.

After being properly tuned at the Abarth racing department, the car made its début during the 1972 sports season when the "Fiat Racing Team" officially took the field, and it became the Group's leading car in the competitions until 1975, when it was replaced by the 131 Abarth Rally the following year. Fitted with a 200 HP 1,756 cc engine, this car reaches a top speed of 170 km/h, depending on the gearbox ratio, and it claimed two victories at the European Rally Championship (in 1972 and 1975), grabbing second place in the manufacturer's championship title for four seasons in a row, from 1972 to 1975.

Maurizio Verini will also be driving the car at the Goodwood Festival of Speed. It was with this car - which still bears his name on the side panels - that he won the 1975 European Championship.

Fiat S 61 Corsa (1908)

The S 61 Corsa is the sports derivation - prepared for the North American market - of the grand touring car by the same name built by Fiat, and was capable of topping the respectable speed for the day of 150 km/h. Provided with a lighter frame and a 10-litre four-cylinder engine with overhead valves, the car competed in a large number of races in the U.S. between 1908 and 1912 and clinched illustrious wins. They included first and third place at the American Grand Prix in Savannah, Georgia in 1908, won respectively by Louis Wagner and Felice Nazzaro; third place at the Indianapolis 500 in 1911; the victory at the Santa Monica circuit in 1912 (with Ted Tedzlaff behind the wheel) and that of the American Grand Prix in Milwaukee, won by Caleb Bragg.

Turin, 23 June 2016