View Full Version : Abarth reliability as a track mule

09-22-2017, 11:56 AM
Hello all. I am exploring the feasibility of installing the Abarth engine in a track specific chassis. One issue that I am exploring is what it's going to take to get a standalone ECU setup. Am speaking to a couple of guys about it, and am pretty confident that issue can be dealt with. The other question is how the motor will stand up to regular track day abuse with lightly elevated HP levels (200ish). Browsing the topics here, I haven't seen any significant red flags, but I wanted to put the topic out there - how does the 1.4 turbo motor withstand high temperatures, high lateral Gs and frequent visits to the redline?

09-22-2017, 03:20 PM
The redline of the Abarth engine isn't much of an accomplishment, is it?

When you're working to match up a basic (non-variable geometry type) turbocharger with an engine it's always the turbocharger that's the limiting factor. The turbo has a very specific performance envelope that you have to remain within. As a result you end up with a relatively modest engine redline speed. I think the Abarth engine isn't very stressed with respect to rotational forces.

High lateral G forces? The question is: are you talking about momentary or sustained lateral G forces? I think there's a company that sells a high-capacity, baffled type oil pan for the Abarth engine. This pan would handle sustained lateral G forces.

09-22-2017, 04:51 PM
What you mention about turbochargers is a common issue when they are designed for maximum torque/minimum lag down low. The vehicle that I'd be placing it it into would only weigh around 1500 lbs. so it's not like it'll need a significant additional power infusion. besides a baffled and/or gated oil pan, are there other concerns with the engine? How about the transmission?

09-22-2017, 09:23 PM
I have a 2012 Abarth, it was a really early build, one of the first delivered to the Seattle area. I drive it hard on a regular basis (many trips to the redline, lots of wide open throttle, rev-matching on the downshifts, both normal and heel-and-toe), but I don't abuse it. So far I haven't had any problems.

I assume you know how solidly built the Abarth engine is? Forged crankshaft, forged connecting rods, oil jets that spray up onto the bottoms of the pistons, iron block with an aluminum bed-plate and a structural oil pan.

The transmission isn't exactly bullet proof, not overbuilt like the engine is. There have been a few failures documented here on the forum. I suspect the failed transmissions were abused.