Abarth Classiche 1300 OT Brings Alfa 4C Back to Life, But Uglier

It’s supposed to pay homage to the 1965 Fiat-Abarth OT 1300 but misses the mark.

byNico DeMattia|


For those of you who might be confused, Abarth exists as a performance brand under the Stellantis umbrella. It builds sportier, special edition versions of existing Stellantis products, like the Abarth 500e. Its latest project is the Abarth Classiche 1300 OT, a tuned and re-bodied Alfa Romeo 4C, that revives a discontinued sports car but makes it uglier.

I'll go on record as one of the few people who actually likes the Alfa Romeo 4C. Sure, it was a pretty big flop that wasted its immense potential. However, it was an Italian, exotic-looking, mid-engine supercar with a carbon fiber chassis and body for the same price as a base-model Porsche Cayman and was sold in the United States. Despite its many flaws—a horrific ride, unreliable dual-clutch transmission, and econobox interior quality—I'm just happy it existed. However, the Abarth 1300 OT attempts to revive the long-defunct 4C with a worse-looking body completely devoid of the original car's charm.

This new limited-edition Abarth 1300 OT is supposed to pay homage to the iconic 1965 Fiat-Abarth OT 1300, in celebration of the Scorpion brand's 75th anniversary. However, this new one looks like a bloated 4C with a cheap body kit and homemade livery. Its dual bug-eye headlights look nothing like the classic's, it has tacky "ABARTH" lettering at the rear, and its "periscope" roof-mounted air intake is a laughable reference to the original 1965 OT 1300's. Thankfully, its body is still carbon fiber, so it remains extremely light.

This isn't the first time Abarth revived the 4C, as it originally made the convertible 1000 SP in 2021, which was better looking than the 1300 OT. It still had the same freaky headlights but it also had cool hood vents, lacked the "ABARTH" font at the rear, and had cool vents in its rear haunches. Having the roof down helped a lot, too.

Abarth didn't provide any mechanical details for the new 1300 OT but it's expected to have the same 1.7-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine and dual-clutch transmission as the Alfa Romeo 4C. Abarth doesn't even have a full-scale production example yet, only a 1:3 scale model and some renderings. When production does begin, only five will be built and Stellantis is currently taking orders. There's no word on cost but, considering its extremely low production volume, I imagine it's going to be far more expensive than a second-hand Alfa Romeo 4C while looking worse. Hopefully, it has much improved handling and increased performance to make it worthwhile.

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