Shortly after Fiat unveiled the Miata-based 124 Spider, rumors that Abarth might build a rally-spec version surfaced the Interwebz. Reports claimed that the FIA was planning to introduce a new sports car category for the World Rally Championship, which would allow vehicles the size of the 124 to take part in the series. Though neither Abarth nor the FIA confirmed the rumor, we went ahead and created a rendering and a speculative review about the Abarth 124 WRC, which, according to current WRC regulations, would have to be a coupe.

Then it occurred to me that if Abarth will indeed build a race-spec, coupe version of the 124, it could also develop a road-going variant. With so many Miata fans clamoring for a full-fledged coupe, I’m sure such a model would be pretty popular with MX-5 enthusiasts despite having a different exterior design and an Abarth badge on its nose. Not to mention that unless Fiat has some sort of agreement with Mazda that prevents it from building different body styles, an Abarth 124 Coupe would be doable with the performance division having the necessary experience from the rally car.

Now you might ask why an Abarth and not a Fiat? Well, turning the Spider into a mass-produced coupe would require a hefty investment and given the fact that FCA isn’t doing quite well financially, Sergio Marchionne wouldn’t approve such a project. Under Abarth, however, the 124 Coupe could be developed as a coach-built vehicle and produced in a limited run and for a more exotic price tag. This would be similar to what Abarth did with the original 124 Spider in the early 1970s, when the 124 Rally had to be homologated for the World Rally Championship.

Continue reading to learn more about the Abarth 124 Coupe.

Exterior

2017 Fiat 124 Spider High Resolution Exterior
- image 656069

Note: Fiat 124 Spider pictured here.

Although Abarth doesn’t need a road-going version to homologate the WRC car, I think that the former will resemble its race-spec sibling as far as styling goes. Specifically, the coupe should get an identical metal top, front bumper, grille, and even the large wing atop the trunk lid. Of course, some elements will be more production friendly, such as the toned down rear diffuser, the smaller alloy wheels, and the road-legal tires. We also removed the rally-spec foglamps and increased the ride height. The Italian flag on the nose isn’t something Abarth will offer as standard, but I’m sure the brand will come up with similar options. After all, Abarth models are among the most customizable cars on the market, and the 124 will also benefit from a long list of Mopar parts and accessories.

Interior

2017 Fiat 124 Spider High Resolution Interior
- image 656060

Note: Fiat 124 Spider pictured here.

The interior of the Abarth 124 Coupe will be heavily based on the standard Fiat 124 Spider model, which in turn is nearly identical to the MX-5 Miata. Added features that make the Fiat seem more upscale include the leather-wrapped steering wheel, revised door panels, and an extra layer of leather on the lower dashboard.

The Abarth version will retain all these details, but will also gain a few bespoke items, including a flat-bottom steering wheel fitted with the iconic Scorpion badge. The seven-inch TFT display should also have a custom display, while some details throughout the cockpit will be revised for a sportier appearance. The standard seats will be replaced with sportier ones with Scorpion-embroidered headrests. Also, Abarth will probably add exclusive upholstery colors and contrast stitching.

Finally, customers will no longer benefit from infinite headroom as the coupe will feature a fixed roof.

Drivetrain

2017 Fiat 124 Spider High Resolution Exterior
- image 656065

Note: Fiat 124 Spider pictured here.

The drivetrain should also be identical to the Abarth Spider and send the same amount of power to the wheels. With the drop-top still under development as of December 2015, the powerplant is still a mystery, but word on the street has it that Abarth will use either the 500’s turbocharged, 1.4-liter or the Alfa Romeo 4C’s 1.75-liter turbo-four.

Should Abarth use the 1.4-liter, output will likely increase from the 500’s 160-horsepower rating to around 200 horses. If the Italians go with the Alfa Romeo engine, they will probably detune it from its original 240 horsepower. Either way, the Abarth 124 Coupe should be powerful enough to hit 60 mph in a little more than five seconds, more than a full second quicker than the standard model.

The engine should mate to either a six-speed manual or a six-speed automatic, both revised for quicker shifts.

Prices

Fiat has yet to announce pricing for the 124 Spider and that makes our guessing game a lot more difficult. But if rumors are accurate, the Italian roadster should hit U.S. dealerships with a $28,000 sticker, while the Abarth version could fetch at least $31,000 before options. As for the coupe, it really depends on the production output. Although convertibles are usually more expensive than coupes, for the Abarth 124 it might be the other way around, so a $35,000 sticker is possible with a limited run.

Competition

Porsche 718 Cayman

2017 Porsche 718 Cayman Exterior Spyshots
- image 571577

With some 200 horsepower at its disposal, the Abarth 124 Coupe will be powerful enough to give the entry-level Porsche Cayman a run for its money. Currently motivated by a 2.7-liter flat-six rated at 265 horses, the German coupe needs 5.5 seconds to hit 60 mph, which makes it a tad slower than the Abarth. However, by the time the 124 Coupe arrive, the base Cayman will use a new turbocharged, flat-four engine and adopt the "718" moniker. Although specifics are still unknown, the updated sports car should be at least as quick as the current model. Although a better car at the track thanks to its mid-engine layout, the Cayman will be significantly more expensive than the Abarth. For 2016, the German sports car retails from $52,600.

Find out more about the Porsche 718 Cayman here.

Conclusion

2019 Abarth 124 Coupe Exterior Exclusive Renderings Computer Renderings and Photoshop
- image 660078

Granted, the Abarth 124 Coupe is only the result of my imagination as of this writing, but if the Italians are indeed working on a WRC-spec coupe, they will at least consider a road-going model. A 200-horsepower coupe based on the Miata would make a lot of sense in today’s market, and if Mazda doesn’t want to alter the MX-5’s heritage as a roadster, maybe Fiat will want to do something about it. After all, the original 124 Spider did spawn a limited-edition coupe (albeit with a removable hard-top), so Abarth has all the right reasons to build a modern-day iteration of the iconic 124 CSA.

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