The rally-themed 500 is available in ‘Blue Rally’ and ‘Record Grey’ colours

Italian tuning specialist Abarth is marking the fortieth anniversary of the 131 rally car by launching a special edition 500.

Limited to 695 units worldwide, the Abarth 685 Tributo 131 Rally will be priced from £32,325 when it reaches dealers in the coming weeks.

The sporting arm of Fiat says the latest version of the top-of-the-range model “is a tribute to Abarth’s racing history”, adding: “The new Abarth special edition is an authentic concentration of technology under the banner of the brand’s founding values: performance and style.”

The Abarth 695 Tributo 131 Rally is powered by the familiar 1.4 ‘T-jet’ engine found in other iterations of the front-wheel-drive hot hatch, with power and torque quoted at 178bhp and 184lb ft respectively.

In terms of performance, Abarth says the car can crack the 0-62mph dash in a time of 6.7 seconds and will go on to achieve a top speed of 140mph. Mechanical up-grades include Koni FSD shock absorbers on both axles.

The braking system has also been overhauled on the Abarth 695 Tributo 131 Rally; aluminium Brembo calipers are paired to ventilated discs that measure 305mm in diameter at the front and 240mm at the rear.

A new three-layer ‘Blue Rally’ paintjob is set off by wheel arch surrounds and lower door strips constricted from gloss black plastic, black 17-inch diamond cut alloy wheels and a Record Monza Sovrapposto exhaust system.

The Assetto Variabile roof-mounted spoiler is also new and be adjusted one of 12 ways to increase downforce through corners. Marked 0-60°, at its highest angle at a speed of 124mph, the aerodynamic load increases up to 42kg, according to Abarth.

Inside, the Sabelt seats are finished off with blue inserts and stitching that has been “inspired by those of the historic car but reinterpreted in a modern standard”.

“All of this helps remind us of the legendary history of the Abarth 131 Rally, which debuted in 1976 in Group 4,” said an Abarth spokesperson.

“Its enviable track record includes six years in the World Rally Championship (1976-1981) and victories at 18 International rallies, three World Constructors’ Champions (1977, 1978 and 1980), two FIA Cup for Rally Drivers titles with Markku Alén and a World Drivers’ Champions with Walter Röhrl.”

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