The Fiat 124 Abarth is the successor of the roadster that drove Fiat to its first European Rally Championship win in the 1970s. Applying the Abarth formula, the new 124 Spider has been designed and built for thrills and performance. Key features include rear-wheel-drive, a sophisticated suspension and a 1.4-litre 4-cylinder turbocharged MultiAir engine with best-in-class 170bhp and 250Nm, sent to the road through a 6-speed manual or 6-speed automatic paddle-shift gearbox.
The 124 Spider Abarth adds to Fiat’s reborn 124 Spider lineup, which is a collaborative project with Mazda, whose latest MX-5 (tested here in 1.5-litre manual form) provides the basis for the Italian number. Abarth has made the 124 Spider sportier, more spirited and even more fun for driving enthusiasts.
For the automatic version, the Abarth-specified Sport Mode changes the calibrations of the engine, transmission, electric power steering and dynamic stability control system to ensure a responsive and performance-oriented driving experience.
A mechanical limited-slip differential, featuring a low torque-bias ratio, provides improved traction as well as improved launch performance and power delivery during cornering. The unique sport suspension includes monotube Bilstein front and rear shock absorbers for more precise handling. The available Brembo (whose home we visited) braking system with 17-inch alloy wheels offers monoblock aluminum callipers with four pistons, allowing for better braking.
With its streamlined silhouette and stretched bonnet, the 124 Spider Abarth has an aggressive appearance, with unique front and rear fascias, black side sills, 17-inch gunmetal aluminum wheels and a sport-tuned, chrome quad-tip exhaust system with a specially tuned exhaust sound.
The gunmetal header, mirror cover and roll bar complement the roadster’s five available paint colors: Bianco Gelato (White Clear Coat), Rosso Passione (Red Clear Coat), Nero Cinema (Jet Black Metallic), Grigio Argento (Gray Metallic) and tri-coat Bianco Perla (Crystal White Pearl).
The interior design reflects the performance-oriented details for which cars sporting the Scorpion badge are famous. There is Rosso (red) stitching throughout, including on the leather-wrapped steering wheel, wrapped instrument cluster hood, lower instrument panel and parking brake. A matte black instrument panel bezel, modified instrument cluster, aluminum-accented sport pedals and unique gearshift knob help to differentiate the Abarth model.
Nero (black) leather/microfibre seats are standard, while leather seats in Nero (black) or Nero/Rosso (black/red) are available. For true performance enthusiasts, leather and Alcantara Recaro seats are also available in Nero (black).