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Wednesday, May 04, 2016

FCA TAKES PART IN THE 100TH EDITION OF THE LEGENDARY "TARGA FLORIO"

The Fiat, Alfa Romeo and Abarth brands will take part in the prestigious 100th edition of the great Sicilian classic. Alfa Romeo and Abarth are main sponsors of "Targa Florio", proof of the special attention FCA pays to the world of historic cars and the events that enhance the sports tradition of its brands.

The 100th edition of the legendary "Targa Florio", the oldest car race in the world, will be held in Sicily 5-8 May. It was originally commissioned, funded and organised by the Palermo magnate Vincenzo Florio for the purpose of establishing a "practical and precise criterion for assessing the travelling car". The race has been competed in various forms ever since 1906. Organised by AC Palermo in collaboration with the Automobile Club of Italy, it is four events rolled up in one: Targa Florio Rally, Targa Florio Historic Rally, Targa Florio Classic and Targa Florio Historic Speed.

Alfa Romeo

Alfa Romeo has written some of the most beautiful chapters of its sports history at the Targa Florio by taking 10 absolute victories, 3 second places, 7 third places and 10 fastest laps. This extraordinary prize record has been enriched with two records: that of consecutive victories (6 wins from 1930 to 1935) and that of doubles, with five in all. Added to these are the many class wins, with the Giulia GTA, Giulietta SZ, Giulia TZ and TZ2.

The Alfa Romeo brand is taking part in the Targa Florio Classic, the historic regularity competition that will pass by characteristic places in Sicily tied to the famous race, with two gorgeous models coming from the Alfa Romeo Historic Museum in Arese called "La macchina del tempo". The 1960 Giulietta SZ (4 cylinders in line, 1290 cc, 100 HP) is a model belonging to the second series and is distinguished by its so-called "cut-off tail" (or Kamm tail) that, along with its aerodynamic efficiency, easily takes it up to the speed of 200 km/h. The 1963 Giulia Sprint Speciale (4 cylinders in line, 1570 cc, 112 HP) is the technological evolution of the Giulietta SS, a coupé featuring sinuous and personal lines that was designed by Scaglione. The Giulia Sprint Speciale also has an aerodynamic line taken from the aircraft of the day and developed with direct observation of the flows using wool threads applied on the bodywork of a car launched at full speed on the Turin-Milan motorway.

The four historic cars contending in the Targa Florio Historic Speed race also come from the Alfa Romeo official collection. This is the dynamic catwalk down which the drivers and cars that made the Sicilian "cursa" great paraded, from the stands of Floriopoli to Cerda. The Alfa Romeo 6C 1500 Super Sport of 1928 (6 cylinders in line, compressor, 1487 cc, 76 HP) is the first model of the long-lived six-cylinder dynasty of the "Jano" era to win Alfa's first of 11 successes at the Mille Miglia with Giuseppe Campari and to place, with the same driver, absolute second and first of class at the 1928 Targa Florio. The Alfa Romeo 33/2 "Daytona" of 1968 (V8, 1995 cc, 270 HP) is a two-litre sports racing prototype that stole the scene at the endurance races and time trials of the day, and that clinched the class victory at the 1968 Targa Florio. The 1975 Alfa Romeo 33 TT 12 (12-cylinder boxer engine, 2995 cc, 500 HP) won the World Championship for Makes in 1975 and also won the Targa Florio during that magical season with Merzario (the best interpreter of the 33 TT 12) and Vaccarella (a "Targa" icon). The three cars will be driven respectively by Jochen Mass, Andrea De Adamich and Arturo Merzario, three "great glories" of international sports motor racing, who have attained many of their most important successes with Alfa Romeo cars. Completing the line-up at the Targa Florio Historic Speed competition is the Alfa Romeo 750 Competizione of 1955 (4 cylinders in line, 1488 cc, 145 HP), a racing spider made in only one complete unit. Its engine came from the Giulietta and its lines were designed by Boano.

A final great sports car coming from the Alfa Romeo Historic Museum will stand in the spotlight at the gala dinner of the event, scheduled for the evening of 5 May at Villa Chiaramonte Bordonaro. It is the RL TF of 1923, the legendary car with which Ugo Sivocci won the first of 10 Alfa Romeo victories at the Targa Florio. It was a thrilling race: at the wheel of a RL model, which was renamed "RL TF" precisely in honour of this victory, Sivocci covered the 432 km of the Madonìe Circuit (4 laps, 108 km each) at the average speed of 59.04 km/h, which was an amazing speed for the time, above all considering the dangers and hardships of the route. As a sign of good omen, the sides of this car had been decorated with a green four-leaf clover before the race, and this was the beginning of the history of a legendary symbol for Alfa Romeo. A history that over 90 years later still continues today with the new Giulia Quadrifoglio, which depicts the new Alfa Romeo paradigm and that will be exhibited next to the RL TF.

Several prestigious locations in Palermo will also host dedicated areas exhibiting the latest Alfa Romeo models during the days of the Targa Florio. They range from the captivating Giulia Quadrifoglio to the new Giulietta and Mito, the two recently updated models that display a marked family feeling with the Giulia, as seen in the new front that flaunts a brand-new grill and the legendary trefoil, perhaps the most famous and recognisable signature in the automotive world. Even the lettering of the names “Giulietta” and “Mito” also winks to that of the Giulia, with both cars sporting the refreshed logo of the Alfa Romeo brand.

Abarth

Abarth is also participating in the prestigious 100th edition as a Main Sponsor. It boasts a splendid tradition of successes at the Targa Florio speed competition, including the many class wins achieved with the 1000 SPs - nimble sport cars that have always found themselves at ease on the Madonìe roads - and with the 124 Rally vehicles in the latest editions of the '70s.

Ever since Targa Florio was transformed from a speed race to a rally, Abarth has taken a number of absolute wins: two with the Abarth 131 Rally, in 1979 with Adartico Vudafieri and in 1980 with Mario Pasetti; two with the Fiat Punto Super 1600, in 2003 and 2004, again driven by Paolo Andreucci, who also won in 2006 with the Abarth Grande Punto S2000. The same model was first to pass the finish line in 2009 with Luca Rossetti at the wheel. The first nine absolute first places are also attributable to Abarth's work. Altogether, they were won by Lancia Rally, Lancia Delta S4 and Integrale, cars developed by Abarth engineers.

In line with its historical identity, Abarth will mark its presence at the Targa Florio above all in the Rally, which counts toward the Italian Rally Championship, and in the Historic Rally, valid for the Italian Historic Car Rally Championship. The races will be opened by three new cars of the Scorpion brand: Abarth 124, Abarth 595 Competizione and Abarth 695 Biposto.
Moreover, an extraordinary Fiat 124 Abarth Rally Gr. 4 (1975) belonging to the company's historic collection will participate in the start and in the night-time performance trial on Friday, 6 May in the role of "forerunner of honour". It will be driven for the occasion by the Verini/Rossetti team, the same that led it to victory in the 1975 European Rally Championship. The Fiat 124 Abarth Rally Gr. 4 will also take part in the Targa Florio Historic Speed on Sunday, 8 May.

On the occasion of the event, the public will be able to receive information on the Abarth Classiche project, register in "The Scorpionship" community and admire the new Abarth 124 spider in piazza Verdi. In particular, designed to satisfy even the tastes of the most difficult-to-please drivers, the new Abarth model is fitted out with rear-wheel drive, sophisticated suspension and a four-cylinder 1.4 MultiAir Turbo engine with 170 HP, paired with a six-speed manual or six-speed automatic Sequenziale Sportivo gearbox with steering-wheel paddle shifters. The first 2,500 units of the exclusive, limited edition model made by Officine Abarth can be ordered at a price of 40,000 Euro across Europe. The car will be available in dealerships starting from September. The new Abarth 124 spider can also be purchased with the FCA Bank solution by paying 300-Euro monthly instalments.

First launched last November at the Officine Abarth in Mirafiori in Turin, the Abarth Classiche project is organised on various levels, from the restoration atelier to the Abarth Register which coordinates shows, events, rallies and competitions. As expected, the programme has been a great success, with numerous certifications already carried out and a long waiting list of bookings. The coherence between current models and those which set so many motoring records is one of the secrets of the brand's commercial success. More information is available on the brand-new website: http://www.abarthclassiche.com. As for digital resources, “The Scorpionship”, the only Abarth official community dedicated to owners, collectors, Abarth club members and fans, opened on March 1. Anyone can register by filling out the form on the http://scorpionship.abarth.com website. “The Scorpionship” members will have access to plenty of exciting advantages, promotions and racing opportunities as well as exclusive invites to meetings for fans.

Finally, the Abarth 124 spider Rally will be on display at the rally's Park Fermè in Campofelice di Roccella. The experience of the Abarth Racing Team paved the way for this concentrate of pure energy and performance in order to bring the Scorpion back onto the most glorious and demanding rally courses. Forty years after its last official race, the 1976 Monte Carlo Rally, the Abarth 124 Rally is back with the same philosophy: to test road cars' technical solutions under extreme conditions and to guarantee all Abarth customers excellent performance and maximum reliability. Its bonnet conceals the direct injection 1800 cm3 twin cam turbo engine that, thanks to the different selectable mappings, provides power up to 300 HP at 6500 rpm and an optimum torque curve, a key element to allow the driver steering and acceleration balance in drifting. Performance is breathtaking; acceleration is scorching and marked with full, riveting sound. The project was developed to ensure reliability and performance also in the extreme conditions typical of rallies: ice, dirt, dust, water, heat. Even the transmission was designed to enhance performance: the engine is coupled to a rapid 6-speed sequential gearbox with shift paddles and traction is assured by the mechanical self-locking differential.

Fiat

The Fiat brand completes the FCA team at this prestigious commemoration event, and will arrive with a 124 Sport Spider (1970) racing in the Targa Florio Classic. Launched in 1966, this evolution of the Fiat 124 saloon in the Spider version was a sports car that everyone fell in love with at first sight, also because of its successful design by Pininfarina, and it achieved important class placings at the late '60s editions of the "cursa". The 124 Spider is fitted with a five-speed manual gearbox, a 1438 cm3 twin camshaft engine and disc brakes on all four wheels. Americans were mad about the proportions and noticeably Italian style of the Fiat 124 Spider, as well as its waterproof soft top that could be lowered directly from the driver's seat very quickly and simply. Over 200,000 units were produced between 1966 and 1985, and more than three-quarters of them crossed the Atlantic.

Also joining its memorable "ancestor" is the new Fiat 124 Spider, whose advanced style houses the classic beauty of the historic car without betraying its essence. A tribute to the iconic car whose name it carries, the new Fiat 124 Spider follows the tradition of its famous ancestor and brings its classic styling and performance to a new generation. The new Fiat Spider is equipped with the reliable 1.4-litre turbo four-cylinder engine with MultiAir technology, which delivers 140 HP and 240 Nm of torque, and is available with a six-speed manual transmission.

Lastly, two new Doblòs of the Fiat Professional brand are making their débuts at the Targa Florio in the mobile workshop version. They are accompanying the FCA Heritage collection cars during events in various countries. This quality support will be offered to the new structure throughout 2016. It was set up with the job of coordinating all of the company's actions in the world of historic motor racing. The term 'Heritage' was selected precisely because of its dual meaning of "heritage" and "inheritance", as it symbolises the value of a history that is not only an asset of the company, but is also a historic and cultural keepsake of the entire country.

Turin, 4 May 2016