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What on earth is it?
This is the Pogea Racing Abarth 500. And, according to its creators, this particular Abarth 500 is “a striking wide-body power athlete, with a fully carbon suit of armour,” which might give you an insight into what this car is all about.
There’s almost two inches’ worth of flare on the fenders, housing a wider track and Michelin Super Sport tyres. But, with 404bhp and an electronically limited 328lb ft of torque on offer, we presume that the front two will need replacing regularly.
Traction must be an issue?
Yes, despite its tower of power, the Pogea-tuned 500 is still front-drive only, which should make for an interesting wet-day driving experience. On a dry track, Pogea says it’ll do 0-62 in 4.7 seconds – limited by “slip at the front axle.” This is, as you might agree, not an entirely unexpected outcome.
So, what’s the source of all this grunt? An engine swap of some description, say, two Ducati 1299 engines welded together? Nope – it’s all from the 1.4-litre turbo found in the standard Abarth 500.
Is it still the 'same' engine underneath?
Just how much you can still call it the same engine is up for debate. It’s the old ‘Ship of Theseus’ conundrum – is an engine that’s had every component replaced still the same engine? Let’s walk through a few of the upgrades and find out.
There are new forged pistons, bigger exhaust valves, a modified cylinder head, new valve springs, new turbocharger, reinforced engine block, new oil pan, new cooling system for both water and oil, new crankshaft, new camshaft, new plugs and coils, new intake, new injectors, new exhaust and new throttle body, to name one or two.
So, we turn the question over to you. It’s one that’s dogged philosophers from Plutarch to Thomas Hobbes, but we’re pretty sure you lot can answer it once and for all – is this engine the same engine, or is it a new one?
What else have they done?
The gearbox and suspension have undergone similar ‘same but different’ transformations, with a new flywheel, reinforced gears, a reinforced bell housing, limited slip diff, extra transmission cooler, short shifter, KW adjustable suspension, reinforced axles, strut braces, six-piston brakes and reinforced bearings all now part of the ‘original’ Fiat units.
If you’re getting the feeling that the Pogea 500 presents less as a car and more as a shopping list of aftermarket parts, you might not be far off. Pogea says it took four years to make it all work together and “hardly a screw remained untouched over the four years of development.”
How much is it?
Just five of these unhinged pocket rockets will ever leave Pogea’s skunkworks, starting at about £50,000 each. Or, if you want the poke without the outlandish bodykit, you can ask Pogea to revamp (or is that replace?) your engine. Which should be interesting.
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