Abarth puts Fiat’s 124 Spider on performance supplements

Mazda’s new MX-5 Miata is one compelling sports car. Handsome, light, and quicker than ever, it’s a great way to enjoy slow-car-fast-performance on the cheap.

Still, as good as the little roadster is, there will always be those who want more power. For this crop of enthusiasts, Fiat is coming to the rescue. Already, the Italian automaker has elicited a touch more performance from the new MX-5’s platform thanks to a 1.4-liter turbocharged four-cylinder motor good for 160 horsepower and 184 pound-feet of torque.

Unfortunately for Fiat, in the minds of many, the Miata’s good looks still trump the 124 Spider’s extra 5 horses and measure of torque. That’s where Abarth comes in. The brand’s iconic in-house tuner has put its magic fingers on the Spider and the results are ready for prime time.

At the 2016 Geneva Motor Show, Fiat has revealed the Abarth 124 Spider with an extra 10 hp over the regular roadster in addition to Brembo brakes, Bilstein dampers, a mechanical limited slip differential, and a Record Monza exhaust. Shoppers will have their choice of a six-speed manual or automatic transmission, but to mimic the driver in this video, you’ll need to row your own gears.

Additional equipment native to the Abarth version includes a Sport drive mode and a defeat option relating to electronic stability systems. The model that was shown in Sweden is the Euro-spec version, so equipment, power, and other bits could change on the car’s journey stateside, but its 6.8-second sprint to 60 mph and 143 mph top speed should be universal.

Visually, the Abarth 124 Spider is distinguished by a full aerodynamic kit, larger air vents, 17-inch alloy wheels, a black hood and trunk, a smaller steering wheel, shorter gear lever, aluminum pedals, and an Alcantara-wrapped interior.

If that all sounds too bland, Abarth will sell you its Rally-spec version built to FIA R-GT specifications. That car uses a 1.8-liter four-cylinder with a stout 300 hp and includes a fixed roof, full roll cage, and a slew of other racing hardware.


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