March 31 marks the 72nd anniversary of the founding of Abarth, the brand that has always been the by-word for performance and style with prizes collected by Abarth including over 10,000 wins, 10 world records, 4 world rally championships, several milestone anniversaries, and, of course, product evolution with the newly launched 2021 range.
It was on March 31 in 1949 that the Italian-Austrian engineer Carlo Abarth founded Abarth & C., creating the brand that would become an authentic legend of style and performance with record-breaking cars, revolutionary tuning kits, and memorable races. The famous scorpion logo recognized by motoring enthusiasts worldwide was inspired by the founder’s zodiac sign. The scorpion perfectly embodied the philosophy of the newborn racing team specialized in “small but deadly” cars.
Abarth’s history and its logo are intertwined with its sporting victories, which began very early on. The first was the category victory in the famous “Palermo-Monte Pellegrino” hill-climb race in 1950 with the famed driver Tazio Nuvolari, “The Flying Mantuan”, at the wheel of an Abarth 204A. In 1954, Carlo Abarth decided to complement the logo with the introduction of a two-tone shield, the emblem of victories in “sporting battles”, as the background for the Scorpion.
In 1962, the Abarth 1000 Bialbero won the first of six consecutive Manufacturers World Championships, and three new elements were added to the logo to celebrate this important title, namely a black-and-white checkered flag, the words “Campione del mondo” (“World Champion”) in red block letters on a yellow background, and a stylized laurel wreath.
A refreshed version of the logo was launched in 1969. The biggest changes were to the Scorpion, the very symbol of the Turin-based company, that was more stylized, completely black, and, for the first time, with both pincers pointing upwards. The lettering also changed. It is now white on a blue background and simply featured the word “Abarth”.
Today’s logo was completely redesigned in 2007 and incorporates all the distinctive features of the Scorpion but in a decidedly more up-to-date and modern key with the pincers of the black silhouette resting on the diagonal of the shield.
In 2019, a celebratory version of the shield, featuring a checkered flag was introduced on the occasion of Abarth’s 70th anniversary. This logo was proudly sported exclusively by the cars made during the 70th anniversary year. A celebratory color version of the badge was also created that year, specifically developed only for the Limited Edition 695 70th Anniversary, of which just 1949 units were made to reference the year on which the brand was founded.
All Abarth cars display another logo on the rear end of the two side panels that echoes the important emblem what Abarth racing cars have proudly sported since the 1960s. This logo picks up the typical yellow and red Abarth shield surrounding the scorpion with the addition of a thunderbolt in the colors of the Italian flag. It is a heartfelt tribute to Abarth’s commitment to racing that since the earliest days was seen as the fitting testing ground for innovative technical and technological solutions aimed at increasing the performance and reliability of Abarth racing cars that would later benefit the production of cars.
The commitment to racing continues to this day, both on the track and on the gravel. On tracks, Abarth is the engine supplier of the Italian and German F4 Championships, the training ground for the F1 champions of tomorrow and in rallies, the Abarth 124 rally will be the protagonist of the FIA-ERC, the European Rally Championship for the third year running.
Beyond a shadow of a doubt, racing, sporting challenges, competition, and the continuous search for performance are the values that Abarth customers want and find in the production models, as testified by the commercial success, with the Scorpion increasing its market share by 50% in 2020 on the previous year.
The success endures as years go by and for its 72nd anniversary Abarth has just launched the new 2021 range with the 595, Turismo, Competizione, and Esseesse versions. Four different trims, all united by the typical features of the icon of sportiness: driving pleasure, high-adrenaline performance, and exhaust roar. New colors and new details are also available, like the exclusive leather seats. To pay homage to its history and rally racing successes, the new matte Blu Rally paintwork of the new 595 Competizione hints at the Fiat 131 Abarth Rally of the 1970s, while the new 17″ alloy wheels wink at those of the Lancia Delta Rally Integrale of the 1990s. All information on the Abarth 2021 range is available at this link.
The anniversary is being celebrated together with the big community of enthusiasts that has always been the beating heart of the brand and that will be the protagonist of this special day as well. Through the brand’s social channels, fans are invited to give their take on the Abarth logo through drawings, paintings, and artwork capable of representing the essence of the Scorpion. Chosen projects will become feature prominently on the Abarth’s social profiles.