Sunday, October 2, 2016

Fiat 124 Spider Abarth

The Abarth lineup is currently filled with beefed-up versions of the 500 and it's time for a change. Perhaps a Fiat 124 Spider-based model should come to the mix and enjoyment couldn't come any hairier than this with the first-ever, open-top, rear-wheel drive Abarth based on the new Fiat 124 Spider.

2017 Fiat 124 Spider Abarth

The 124 Spider Abarth is the high-performance version of the Fiat 124 Spider, which is based on the fourth-generation Mazda Roadster, and judging by its performance, it will make not just owners of the normal 124 Spider but also owners of the latest Mazda Roadster the remorse they will regret having an lightweight open-top roadster that delivers a potential track-day talent some may call it "accessible".

Just how accessible is the 124 Spider Abarth? Well, with looks inspired from the 1972 Abarth 124 Spider, you can tell that this car has heritage from the legendary breed that became a talk-of-a-town when it battled fiercely though rally stages and numerous race feats, but that's just the half of the story. Under the hood lies a smaller, yet powerful 1.4L four-cylinder turbocharged engine producing 170HP of power and 250Nm of torque. With this output, it will go from zero to 100kph in 6.8 seconds and onwards to 232km/h, which is very quick for a nippy little open-top sportscar with some shouty exterior design fit for the fashionable car enthusiasts. It also makes a not-so-bad noise from its exhaust as well.

Apart from the engine, the dynamics is what makes the 124 Spider Abarth very accessible, thanks to its perfect weight distribution and lightweight design, making it a new gold standard in the roadster segment. With a class-leading power-to-weight ratio, and weighing less than a Ford Fiesta, not to mention some track-honed handling, the 124 Spider Abarth can be as swift as swinging a wrecking ball with all the strength and force you can wield at and make some lava holes but living in a day-to-day basis can be somewhat challenging, that is when parallel parking on reverse is like climbing up a mountain.

Although not what you call a daily driver's car, the new 124 Spider Abarth, with its 40,000 Euro price tag, may sound expensive to own but it's a start for buyers looking for high-performance open-top rear-wheel drive roadster who believe that owning an Alfa 4C Spider or a Lotus Elise can be a costly experience. Nevertheless, the 124 Spider Abarth will make anyone's decision making a hard one choosing between a car inspired from and a car originated from. The Fiat 124-Mazda Roadster decision-making experience couldn't get even more complicating.

Photo: FIAT

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