A Fiata Packed with a Healthy Dose of Venom
Fiat‘s performance arm, Abarth, unveiled the 2017 Abarth 124 Spider — complete with the same white and black color scheme that graced the class Abarth 124 Sport Spider rally cars — at the 2016 Geneva auto show. Like the standard 124 Spider, the Abarth variant is based on the fourth-generation ND Mazda MX-5 Miata but offers more power and torque than the standard 124 Spider and the Miata.
Under the hood lies the same 1.4-liter turbo-four with FCA’s Multiair valve timing technology. For the European market, the engine makes 170 hp and 184 lb-ft of torque. Because U.S.-spec 124 Spiders already come with nearly the same power as the European-spec Abarth 124 Spider, expect the U.S.-spec Abarth 124 Spider to be more potent. Two gearboxes are available: a short-throw six-speed manual or a six-speed automatic transmission called the Sequenziale Sportivo. The automatic has been tuned to extract every bit of performance out of the Abarth 124 and comes with a Sport mode. A mechanical limited-slip differential comes standard for improved traction and driving dynamics.
Like the ND Miata, the Abarth 124 Spider is lightweight and features near-perfect 50/50 weight distribution. The European-spec Abarth 124 Spider weighs only 2,336 pounds (1,060 kg), giving it a power-to-weight ratio of 13.6 lb/hp. The Abarth 124 Spider features an A-arm suspension up front and a five-link rear multilink setup that’s been tuned for improved handling and stability , stiffer anti-roll bars, and Abarth by Bilstein dampers.
The 2017 Abarth 124 Spider’s exterior is recognizable as the new model, but lets the car’s performance intentions known with large lower air intakes in the front fascia and a dual-tone white and black exterior with red side mirror caps and red accents. From the side, the Abarth 124 Spider wears a subtle Abarth scorpion logo to hint at its potential, and the more aggressive 17-inch alloy wheel design makes it clear that this isn’t your ordinary 124 Spider. At the rear, the car features quad exhaust tips, giving an even stronger suggestion that this roadster means business.
The Abarth 124 Spider’s cabin has leather sport seats, a unique steering wheel with a red center strip, and a red-painted tachometer. Otherwise, the interior remains similar to that of the standard 124 Spider and the ND Miata.
Abarth also unveiled the 124 rally car, which features the classic red and yellow exterior color scheme and hardtop roof of its predecessors. Unlike the production Abarth 124 Spider, the 124 Rally ditches the 1.4-liter turbo-four for a direct-injected, 1.8-liter turbo-four with 300 hp. A self-locking differential has also been added, and a six-speed sequential gearbox handles shifting duties. The 124 Rally has been developed and strengthened to handle the extreme stress levels that rally cars endure.
The 2017 Abarth 124 Spider goes on sale in Europe in September. North American sales have yet to be announced, but expect it to follow soon after it hits showrooms in Europe.
Check out the video of the Abarth 124 Spider below.