A 124 Abarth without the badges and the extra oomph

In late 2015, Fiat entered a new sports car niche by launching the 124 Spider, a neo-retro interpretation of a classy roadster originally built between 1966 and 1982. Based on the ND-generation Mazda Miata, the compact two-seater received styling of its own and a powerplant based on the Abarth 500’s. In early 2016, Fiat did what the whole industry expected it to do: it showcased an Abarth version of the 124 with a sportier appearance and a more powerful engine. But while the standard 124 Spider already made it to the U.S., the Abarth was only unveiled in its European specification, leaving North America to wait for its very own Scorpion-badged roadster.

The wait ends at the 2016 New York Auto Show, where Fiat launched the 124 Spider Elaborazione Abarth.

Although it is powered by the 124’s standard engine, the Elaborazione is a sportier proposition to the regular Spider, featuring numerous add-ons that are not available with the stock model. The styling is inspired by the Euro-spec Abarth model, while the interior has just enough goodies to stand out. While the drivetrain is as standard as they get, the chassis boasts many new components designed to deliver a more exciting experience behind the wheel. All told, the Elaborazione was developed to slot between the standard 124 Spider and the sportier and more powerful Abarth. It might not have a Scorpion badge on its nose, but it is more than worthy of the Abarth name.

Hopefully Fiat is already working on a full-fledged 124 Abath for the U.S. market, but until the performance-oriented cabriolet arrives, the Elaborazione seems to be a thrilling option if you’re in the market for a compact roadster.

Updated 03/25/2016: The new Fiat 124 Spider Elaborazione Abarth made its world debut at the 2016 New York Auto Show. Check the "Pictures" tab for a series of new images taken during it official launch.

Continue reading to learn more about the Fiat 124 Spider Elaborazione Abarth.

  • 2017 Fiat 124 Spider Elaborazione Abarth
  • Year:
    2017
  • Make:
  • Model:
  • Engine:
    inline-4
  • Horsepower @ RPM:
    160
  • Torque @ RPM:
    184
  • Displacement:
    1.4 L
  • 0-60 time:
    6.8 sec. (Est.)
  • Top Speed:
    140 mph (Est.)
  • Price:
    28000 (Est.)
  • Price:
  • car segment:
  • body style:

Exterior

2017 Fiat 124 Spider Elaborazione Abarth High Resolution Exterior AutoShow
- image 670811

Styling wise, the Elaborazione is a 124 Abarth without the Scorpion badges and a few minor features. Up front, it sports the same honeycomb mesh grille, air vents with black plastic surrounds, a larger, revised lower grille with integrated foglamps, and a matte black hood. The only Abarth features missing here are the Scorpion badge and the red stripe on the splitter.

The only Abarth features missing here are the Scorpion badge and the red stripe on the splitter.

Onto the side, it gets the same 17-inch Gun Metal aluminum roller as the Abarth version, but these come with Fiat badges instead of Abarth logos. Likewise, the Scorpion badges on the front fenders are missing. Another "downgrade" from the full-fledged Abarth model are the black mirror caps (instead of red) and black roll bars (instead of Forgiato Grey). The rear end remains unchanged save for the chrome exhaust tips.

Five exterior colors are availabile: Bianco Gelato (White Clear Coat), Rosso Passione (Red Clear Coat), Nero Cinema (Jet Black Metallic), Grigio Argento (Gray Metallic) and tri-coat Bianco Perla (Crystal White Pearl), two of which are shared with the Abarth.

Overall, the Elaborazione very similar to the full-fledged Abarth on the outside and could be mistaken for one by the untrained eye. It’s pretty much what the BMW M235i is to the M2: less powerful and devoid of the fancy badges, but almost as aggressive in appearance.

Interior

2018 Fiat 124 Spider Abarth High Resolution Interior
- image 667633

Note: 2018 Fiat 124 Spider Abarth pictured here.

Interior changes are subtle, but so are those applied to the 124 Abarth. For the Elaborazione, Fiat went with red (Rosso) stitching on the leather-wrapped steering wheel, instrument cluster hood, lower instrument panel, and parking brake, as well as matte-black dashboard bezels.

To set it further apart from the standard 124 Spider, the Italians also added a custom instrument cluster, aluminum-accented sport pedals, and a unique gear shift knob.

The standard seats wrapped in leather and microfiber are also unique to this model, but customers can also have full leather seats in either black (Nero) or black and red (Nero/Rosso). Moreover, the Elaborazione can be equipped with leather and Alcantara Recaro seats, also in black.

Other than that, it comes with the same standard features found in the 124 Spider, including a climate control system, stereo with four speakers, MP3 player and USB port, cruise control, and adjustable and electrically-folding side mirrors. Options should include an infotainment system with an intuitive knob, a seven-inch color display, satellite navigation system, DAB digital tuner, two USB ports, AUX input, Bluetooth connectivity, and a rear backup camera.

Drivetrain

2017 Fiat 124 Spider Elaborazione Abarth High Resolution Exterior AutoShow
- image 670815

The Elaborazione Abarth gets its juice from the same 1.4-liter, four-cylinder engine found in the 124 Spider. The four-pot is also identical to the Fiat 500 Abarth and cranks out 160 horsepower and 184 pound-feet of torque. Transmission choices are also identical and include a six-speed manual and a six-speed automatic. But while it doesn’t get the Sequenziale Sportive in the Abarth, the Elaborazione did receive a few performance-enhancing features of its own.

For starters, the drivetrain gained an exclusive "Sport Mode" that changes the calibration of the engine, steering, dynamic stability control, and automatic transmission

For starters, the drivetrain gained an exclusive "Sport Mode" that changes the calibration of the engine, steering, dynamic stability control, and automatic transmission (if equipped with one). When used in this mode, the roadster delivers a sportier, more responsive, and performance-oriented driving experience. Like the Abarth, it also has a mechanical limited-slip differential, but with a low torque bias ratio for improved traction and power delivery during cornering. It also comes with unique engine note due to a revised exhaust system. It won’t sound as aggressive as the Abarth, but onlookers will know it’s not a standard 124 Spider.

More updates were made in the suspension department, where the Elaborazione received a uniquely tuned sport suspension with Bilstein front and rear shock absorbers for increased traction and more precise handling. A Brembo braking system identical to the Abarth’s is available as an option and adds monoblock aluminum calipers with four pistons, allowing for enhanced braking performance.

Not a bad deal overall, despite the fact that it misses the extra ten horsepower that come with the Euro-spec 124 Abarth.

Prices

Pricing information is not yet available and that’s not surprising given Fiat has yet to release prices for the standard model. However, with the 124 Spider likely to fetch $25,000 before options, the Elaborazione could start from around $28,000. In any case, expect it to cost less than the full-fledged Abarth model.

Competition

Mazda MX-5 Miata

2016 Mazda MX-5 High Resolution Exterior
- image 614474

Much like the standard 124 Spider, the Elaborazione Abarth will cross swords with the Japanese vehicle it is based on, the MX-5 Miata. This is also the result of the compact roadster market being really thin since Toyota and Honda stopped making small, sporty convertibles. Redesigned for 2016, the ND-generation Miata is slightly smaller than its predecessor and employs a significantly more aggressive design language.

The interior is almost identical to the Fiat’s, but motivation comes from a naturally aspirated 2.0-liter Skyactiv-G engine that produces 155 horsepower and 148 pound-feet of torque. While it has similar horsepower to the 1.4-liter turbo engine from Fiat, Mazda’s four-pot has less torque, which means it’s a tad slower from 0 to 60 mph. The one thing the 2016 MX-5 will likely have as an advantage over the Elaborazione is price, as the Japanese roadster retails from $24,915.

Find out more about the Mazda MX-5 Miata here.

Conclusion

2017 Fiat 124 Spider Elaborazione Abarth High Resolution Exterior AutoShow
- image 670816

The Fiat 124 Spider has everything it needs to become a huge success. It was inspired by a classic Italian roadster, it boasts a beautiful and well-balanced neo-retro design, and it’s plenty powerful for the niche it competes in. The Abarth upgrade makes it that much better, but the Elaborazione package is almost as exciting. Obviously designed to bridge the gap between the standard 124 Spider and the Abarth, this convertible seems like an excellent choice if you’re on the market for a sportier roadster, but can’t afford one with Scorpion badges. The exterior is nearly identical to its more aggressive brother, the interior received just enough unique features to stand out, while the chassis was tuned to deliver a more thrilling experience. Sure, it may lack the extra horsepower that comes with the Abarth, but it will make a great driver’s car thanks to its bespoke chassis and excellent power-to-weight ratio.

  • Leave it
    • * Not a full-fledged Abarth model
    • * Limited exterior color choices

Press Release

Since the introduction of the Fiat 500 Abarth at the 2011 Los Angeles Auto Show, the DNA of Abarth has connected with driving enthusiasts in search of a sharp, wicked, fun-to-drive machine. Continuing the legacy of Karl Abarth’s performance-inspired vehicles known for their rich racing heritage, the 2017 Fiat 124 Elaborazione Abarth will debut at this year’s New York International Auto Show.

The Fiat 124 Elaborazione Abarth is the heir of the roadster that drove Fiat to its first European Rally Championship win in the 1970s. Applying the Abarth formula, the new 124 Spider is designed and built for thrills and performance. Key Abarth features include rear-wheel drive, a sophisticated suspension and a four-cylinder turbocharged MultiAir 1.4 Turbo engine with best-in-class 160 horsepower that is available with a six-speed manual or six-speed automatic gearbox with paddle shift.

The 2017 Fiat 124 Spider Elaborazione Abarth is the latest addition to the Fiat 124 Spider lineup, offering added performance features for a sportier, more spirited driving experience. While all Fiat 124 Spider models deliver responsive handling and excellent power-to-weight ratio in a robust rear-wheel-drive package, the Elaborazione Abarth model builds on the Spider’s engaging driving dynamics to offer even more fun for performance enthusiasts.

“Our new Fiat 124 Spider is an iconic roadster that combines classic Italian styling with modern performance and technology,” said Olivier Francois, Head of FIAT Brand, FCA – Global. “The addition of our new 2017 Fiat 124 Spider Elaborazione Abarth further enhances the driving experience and offers yet another head-turning, fun-to-drive vehicle to our customers.”

Performance characteristics
The 2017 Fiat 124 Spider Elaborazione Abarth features the proven turbocharged 1.4-liter MultiAir four-cylinder engine, delivering 160 horsepower and 184 lb.-ft. of torque and is paired with either a six-speed manual transmission or a six-speed automatic transmission with paddle shifters. The Elaborazione Abarth-exclusive Sport Mode changes the calibrations of the engine, automatic transmission, electric power steering and dynamic stability control system to ensure a sporty, responsive and performance-oriented driving experience.

A mechanical limited slip differential, featuring a low torque bias ratio, provides improved traction and handling, as well as improved launch performance and power delivery during cornering. The Elaborazione Abarth’s unique sport suspension includes mono-tube Bilstein front and rear shock absorbers for increased traction and more precise handling. The available Brembo braking system with 17-inch alloy wheels offers monoblock aluminum calipers with four pistons, allowing for improved braking.

Aggressive appearance
With a streamlined silhouette and a stretched bonnet, the Fiat 124 Spider Elaborazione Abarth has an aggressive appearance, with unique front and rear fascia, black side sills, 17-inch Gun Metal aluminum wheels and a sport-tuned, chrome quad-tip exhaust with a unique exhaust sound. The Gun Metal header, mirror cover and roll bar complement five available paint colors: Bianco Gelato (White Clear Coat), Rosso Passione (Red Clear Coat), Nero Cinema (Jet Black Metallic), Grigio Argento (Gray Metallic) and tri-coat Bianco Perla (Crystal White Pearl).

The interior design reflects the performance-oriented details for which cars sporting the Scorpion badge are famous. There is Rosso (red) stitching throughout, including on the leather-wrapped steering wheel, wrapped instrument cluster hood, lower instrument panel and parking brake. A matte black instrument panel bezel, unique instrument cluster, aluminum-accented sport pedals and unique gear shift knob help to differentiate the Elaborazione Abarth model. Unique Nero (black) leather/microfiber seats are standard, while leather seats in Nero (black) or Nero/Rosso (black/red) are available. For true performance enthusiasts, leather and Alcantara Recaro seats are also available in Nero (black).

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