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Fiat 124 Abarth: road and rally cars

by Patrick Rall on

The Fiat 124 Abarth made its official debut today at the Geneva Motor Show, which we expected. What we didn’t expect was the fact that the 124 Abarth was introduced in both road and rally racing form, with a planned return to off-road racing for the sporty little Fiat.

abarth 124 spider

The Abarth 124 Spider is the higher performance version of the  Mazda-Miata-based Fiat 124 Spider. It has unique interior, exterior, and mechanical upgrades for a far more engaging driving experience.

The Abarth 124 Spider is powered by the same turbocharged 1.4L 4-cylinder engine as the Fiat version, but with ten extra horsepower for a total output of 170 horsepower and 184 lb-ft of torque. When mated to the 6-speed manual transmission, the Abarth 124 will dash from 0-62 miles per hour in 6.8 seconds en route to a top speed of 143 mph. While it might not add any power, the Abarth 124 also has a Record Monza exhaust system that should give it a lovely grumble.

abarth 124 spider rear

More importantly, the Abarth 124 Spider has been fitted with bigger Brembo brakes, a Bilstein damper setup, a mechanical limited slip differential, and 17 inch lightweight wheels in performance rubber – making the Abarth package a real road gripper. This is the area in which the Abarth 124 will really stand out from the Fiat 124; while the power difference will make the Abarth a touch quicker and faster, handling and braking is where the higher performance model really shines.

Finally, the Abarth 124 Spider has a host of exterior upgrades, including a body kit that is far sportier than the Fiat. The hood is a matte black to cut down on glare; there is also a spread of red trim around the exterior of this sporty Spider. On the inside, the Abarth 124 has Alcantara seats, a small sport steering wheel, a performance-oriented gauge cluster, and a large infotainment screen atop the dash.

The Abarth 124 Spider will cost €40,000 in the UK. Based on current conversion rates, that would be around $43,400 in US dollars. Generally, prices are more complex than that, so the actual selling price is unknown.

Abarth 124 Rally

Abarth is trying to increase its presence in rally racing with the 124 Rally, a purpose built race car with race-tuned suspension and brakes, a roll cage, and different exterior lighting. All unnecessary weight has been removed, while racing seats with safety harnesses and a self-locking differential have been added.

abarth 124 rally

 

The key feature of the 124 Rally is the 1.8L turbocharged engine, which sends 300 horsepower to the rear wheels via a sequential 6-speed gearbox with paddle shifters. This tiny little car with a 300 horsepower engine should be a blast to drive, but as it will be race-only, it may not be legal for daily driving in the US; and it is expected to cost €150,000, or around US$163,000. That may seem a bit high, but it is a turnkey race car built to FIA R-GT specifications.

If you are looking to go rally racing, Abarth plans to have these specially equipped 124s ready for the 2017 racing season.

Patrick Rall was raised a Mopar boy, spending years racing a Dodge Mirada while working his way through college. After spending a few years post-college in the tax accounting field, Patrick made the jump to the world of journalism and his work has been published in magazines and websites around the world.


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