The Fiat 131 Abarth evolved from the initial two-door sedan model. The Abarth development involved many interventions such as the adoption of a lighter chassis, larger wheel mudguards, air intakes on the bonnet and on the sides to optimize the mechanical cooling system.
The Fiat 131 Abarth used an in-line front longitudinal 4-cylinder engine with a light alloy head and 4 valves per cylinder. Initial manufacturing began in 1976 leading to participation in the World Rally Championship where it won three constructors' championships, a FIA Drivers' Cup and a drivers' championship.
It took part in international competitions until 1982 when it was replaced by Lancia brand cars. Some of its body liveries, associated with the sponsors of the period, have become iconic in the history of "off road" motor racing competitions.