With both MINI and Volkswagen already confirming their intentions to enter the competitive world of the World Rally Championship (WRC), an international race series once dominated by the likes of Subaru and Mitsubishi and still by Citroen, Fiat, more specifically Fiat’s Abarth performance and motorsport division, is now rumored to be joining the WRC arena as well.
Fiat, through its Abarth division, previously competed with its Grande Punto Super 2000 model in the Intercontinental Rally Championship (IRC) and started doing so as far back as 2006. The factory team competed in the IRC until the end of the 2009 season by which time it had secured six overall wins and recorded a plethora of fastest stage times.
Despite Abarth concentrating its efforts on the Italian championship more recently, privateer drivers still turn out in the company’s Grande Punto model, while several Fiat 500 R3Ts will also be in action in the IRC in 2011.
As for the WRC, we could be seeing Abarth competing in the competition by as early as 2013.
If the rumors prove true, Abarth will likely field a version of its Grande Punto Super 2000 since the current WRC specifications are similar to the S2000 spec used in the IRC. We can also expect to see Abarth build and sell rally cars for privateer teams as well so they may be several Fiats competing in the WRC in just a couple of years.