Fiat’s go-fast Abarth division has painted its scorpion logo on thousands of cars since its inception, but only one of its cars is painted with actual scorpions. The Italian firm has revealed a one-of-a-kind 500 with a paint job that incorporates pieces of real scorpion skin. If that’s not cool enough, check this out: It glows in the dark and it was created for an excellent cause.
Before you ping PETA, rest assured that no scorpions were harmed in the making of this one-off hot hatch. Sourcing glow-in-the-dark scorpion skin isn’t as spine-chilling or savage as it might seem. Some scorpion species glow in the dark naturally, and Abarth points out the average scorpion molts 16 times during its lifetime. Using the skin to paint a car merely requires collecting enough of it. There’s no word on how many scorpions need to molt in order to apply a pair of stylized, glow-in-the-dark racing stripes to a city car, but it’s probably a big enough number to give you Goosebumps-like nightmares. This explains why, as of writing, Abarth isn’t planning on offering this option on any of its regular-production cars.
Abarth enlisted the help of Dutch artist Pablo Lcker to create the design. It’s a tribute to the brand’s illustrious racing heritage. Look closely and you’ll spot wrenches, trophies, helmets, and podiums. We haven’t found Waldo yet, but he may be in there. The stripes run from the bottom of the hood, right above the scorpion logo worn by regular-production 500s, to the bottom part of the trunk lid, where they end with Lcker’s signature. They’re painted on a deep black base coat for maximum contrast. Riding on black alloy wheels, this 500 turns heads even in broad daylight.
The modifications don’t extend under the 500’s hood. The Scorpion Skin edition model is based on the European-spec 595, so it packs a turbocharged, 1.4-liter four-cylinder engine that sends 145 horsepower to the front wheels through a six-speed manual transmission. That’s plenty in a car that tips the scale at under 2,300 pounds.
Abarth will give one enthusiast the chance to put the one-of-a-kind 500 in his or her garage. The brand will auction off the 500 in October 2018 and donate the proceeds from the sale to the KWF Cancer Society, a nonprofit organization committed to fighting the disease Abarth’s founder died of.