SCORPIONS and yachts seem an unlikely pair, but there is such a link between two Italians — both named Carlo.

Carlo Riva, born in 1922, was the designer and builder of boats that set multiple international records and had seasons of glorious victories, and Carlo Abarth, born 1908, had similar success with his fiery Fiat-based cars.

Riva’s successes in the 1920s and ’30s and Abarth’s in the ’50s and ’60s were the foundations on which their legends were built.

Now they’ve inspired the Abarth Rivale, a 695-based Abarth that embodies the tradition, elegance and innovation common to the two brands.

Available in both hatch and cabriolet models, a limited release of 35 cars will be available in Australia from early 2019.

The Abarth 695 Rivale Special Edition has a two-tone exterior finish of Riva Blue and Tributo Ferrari Grey, exclusive interiors and logo, as well as 17-inch Super Sport grey alloy wheels.

Power is from a 132kW 1.4-litre Turbo T-Jet engine, and the manual version includes a mechanical limited slip differential.

Other design highlights include satin-chrome front dam and rear bumper insert, Xenon headlights, Rivale badges, a blue soft-top on the cabriolets, blue leather seats, wooden dashboard cover, a dedicated instrument cluster and a numbered badge.

Boating folk will be happy in the knowledge badge is held in place with the same screws as used on the racing Riva yachts.

“We’re delighted to bring this exclusive design to the Australian market,” Abarth Australia’s Fulvio Antonelli said.

“The Riva lifestyle complements that of an Abarth owner with exceptional refinement and power, coupled with unique Italian artisan design, and a passionate heritage.”

If  you’re a fan of the scorpion-badge of Abarth, or a yachtie who wants to sail the highways in style, you’d better be quick to secure one of the 35 heading our way.

They’re priced from $44,990 for the hardtop — same price auto or manual — or $4000 more for the cabrios.

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Bill Buys, probably Australia’s longest-serving motoring writer, has been at his craft for more than five decades. Athough motoring has always been in his DNA, he was also night crime reporter, foreign page editor and later chief reporter of the famed Rand Daily Mail. He’s twice been shot at, attacked by a rhinoceros and had several chilling experiences in aircraft. His experience includes stints in traffic law enforcement, motor racing and rallying and writing for a variety of local and international publications. He has covered countless events, ranging from world motor shows and Formula 1 Grands Prix to Targa tarmac and round-the-houses meetings. A motoring tragic, he has owned more than 90 cars. Somewhat of a nostalgic, he has a special interest in classic cars. He is the father of Targa star Robert Buys, who often adds his expertise to Bill’s reviews.
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