The performance-oriented Miata you’ve been asking for; with an Abarth badge

Rumors that Fiat might revive the 124 Spider, a stylish roadster from the 1960s, surfaced in 2014 and were confirmed at the 2015 Geneva Motor Show, when Fiat came clean and revealed that there was a new roadster underway with Mazda MX-5 underpinnings. Various reports then claimed that Fiat 124 Spider will also be followed by a performance-oriented Abarth version with a more powerful engine and all the goodies that come with the scorpion badge. With the standard roadster unveiled at the 2015 Los Angeles Show, Fiat took the wraps off the performance-oriented version at the 2016 Geneva Motor Show.

Not surprisingly, the 124 Abarth was conceived using the same recipe applied to the 500 Abarth. It features a sportier body kit, a mildly revised interior with Abarth trim, and a more powerful version of the engine used in the standard model. On top of that, Fiat sprinkled a bit of its classic Abarth heritage in order to link the modern roadster to the original 124 Rally, a limited-edition homologation special.

Set to arrive in European showrooms for the 2017 model year, the 124 Spider Abarth is an extremely important car for this tight niche. The main reason for that is because Mazda said it won’t develop a high-performance version of the new Miata. So Abarth will exploit the potential of Mazda’s new chassis and give Miata lovers the power that the Japanese roadster has failed to deliver.

While Fiat has yet to confirm or release data about the U.S.-spec version, a similar model is very likely to cross the pond to North America and join the standard model. Until that happens, let’s have a closer look at the European version.

Updated 04/29/2016: FCA dropped prices on the 2018 Spider Abarth. Check the "Prices" section for the full details.

Continue reading to find out more about the 2018 Fiat 124 Spider Abarth.

Exterior

2018 Fiat 124 Spider Abarth High Resolution Exterior
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Much like the Fiat Abarth 500 in comparison to the standard 500, the 124 Spider Abarth features the same styling as the regular roadster, but received a number of aerodynamic enhancements and body upgrades, which result in a more aggressive styling.

The 124 Spider Abarth features the same styling as the regular roadster, but received a number of aerodynamic enhancements and body upgrades

Up front, there’s new honeycomb mesh grille similar to that of the original car, new air vents with black plastic surrounds underneath the daytime running lights, a larger, revised lower grille with integrated foglamps, and a sportier apron with a red insert. A matte black hood, part of Abarth’s racing anti-glare kit, with a Scorpion badge replaced the standard bonnet and the Fiat logo.

On the sides, the roadster gained black-painted skirts, 17-inch, multi-spoke, lightweight wheels with red calipers, and Scorpion badges on the front fenders. The roadster also sits lower thanks to a revised suspension system. Surprisingly, there are no Abarth stripes, but they should be offered as options.

Around back, the standard was replaced by a sportier piece with vents toward the rear wheels, a quad-exhaust layout, and a more aggressive diffuser. Just like the front hood, the trunk lid was painted matte black in a nod to the original 124 Spider. Needless to say, the rear end looks pretty sporty, but I’m a bit disappointed that there are no carbon-fiber parts.

Just like the front hood, the trunk lid was painted matte black in a nod to the original 124 Spider

Other changes include a windscreen surround and roll bars finished in Forgiato Grey and five body colors using a special nomenclature that pays tribute to the original car’s success in rallying. Options include solid "Turini 1975 White," "Costa Brava 1972 Red," metallic "Isola d’Elba 1974 Blue," "Portogallo 1974 Grey," and "San Marino 1972 Black".

As with most Abarths, the 124 Spider will benefit from an array of customizing options, including stripes and maybe even a few Mopar accessories.

Interior

2018 Fiat 124 Spider Abarth High Resolution Interior
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Interior changes are rather subtle. The layout heavily based on the 124 Spider, which in turn is nearly identical to the MX-5 Miata. As you might have already noticed in our 124 Spider vs Miata comparison, the Fiat’s cabin is a little more upscale, having received a leather-wrapped steering wheel, revised door panels, and an extra layer of leather on the lower dashboard.

Performance-oriented upgrades include sportier seats\, a small-diameter steering wheel, an aluminum pedal board, and a red background for the rev counter

The Abarth version retained these updates, but gained a few bespoke features. Performance-oriented upgrades include sportier seats with enhanced grip, a small-diameter steering wheel with red 12 o’clock stripe, an aluminum pedal board, and a red background for the rev counter. The lower section of the dashboard is wrapped in Alcantara instead of leather, while the infotainment display has an Abarth-themed start up screen.

Standard features are similar to the 124 Spider and include a climate control system, stereo with four speakers, MP3 player and USB port, cruise control, and adjustable and electrically-folding door mirrors. Options include an infotainment system with an intuitive knob on the central unit, seven-inch color display, satellite navigation system, DAB digital tuner, two USB ports, AUX input, Bluetooth connectivity, and a rear backup camera. A Bose premium sound system with nine speakers is also available.

Drivetrain

2018 Fiat 124 Spider Abarth High Resolution Exterior
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Motivation for the 124 Spider comes from a 1.4-liter turbo-four tuned to deliver 170 horsepower and 184 pound-feet of torque

Motivation for the 124 Spider comes from a 1.4-liter turbo-four tuned to deliver 170 horsepower and 184 pound-feet of torque. These figures represent only a 10-horsepower improvement over the standard, U.S.-spec model and a 22-horsepower, seven-pound-feet increase over the Euro-spec version. Fiat says that this drivetrain will be offered in the EMEA region (Europe, the Middle East and Africa), meaning that there is a chance for the U.S.-spec convertible to get more power. If this happens, expect the four-banger to crank out at least 180 horsepower.

The 124 Abarth needs 6.8 seconds to hit 62 mph from a standing start on its way to a top speed of 143 mph

With 170 horses at its disposal, the 124 Abarth needs 6.8 seconds to hit 62 mph from a standing start on its way to a top speed of 230 km/h (143 mph). Buyers will be able to choose between the six-speed manual or the automatic Sequenziale Sportivo gearboxes.

In order to highlight the superior performance of the Abarth model, the Italian brand added a Record Monza exhaust, which increases performance and delivers a throatier note.

Other goodies include a suspension system tuned for greater cornering stability. The setup includes Bilstein dampers and stiffened anti-roll bars. Stopping power comes from a Brembo braking system with aluminum front calipers.

Fuel economy figures aren’t yet available, but they should be similar to the standard 124 Spider. The non-Abarth cabriolet returns 26 mpg city and 35 mpg highway with the manual transmission and 25 mpg city and 36 mpg highway with the automatic gearbox.

Safety

2018 Fiat 124 Spider Abarth High Resolution Exterior
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The 124 Abath comes with many active and passive features. Standard equipment includes ABS, EBD, ESC, and three-point seat belts with Constant-Force Retractors that control the degree of force applied by the belt. The LED adaptive headlamps are optional. They enhance driving in poor visibility conditions and can be equipped with rain and dusk sensors.

Prices

The 124 Spider Abarth retails from $28,195, not including the $995 delivery fee, in the United States, a $3,200 premium over the base cabriolet. This sticker also makes it the most expensive 124 except for the limited-edition 124 Spider Prima Edizione Lusso, which fetches $35,000. Adding an automatic transmission to the Abarth increases the price by $1,350, taking it to $29,545 before options.

In Europe, the 124 Spider Abarth comes in at €40,000. Deliveries are set to begin in September 2016.

Model Transmission Price
Fiat 124 Spider Abarth six-speed manual $28,195
Fiat 124 Spider Abarth six-speed automatic $29,545

Competition

2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata

2016 Mazda MX-5 Exterior
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Granted, the Miata isn’t as quick or powerful as the 124 Spider Abarth, but the fact that both cars share the same platform turns the Mazda into some sort of base model of the Fiat. The Miata will come with fewer fancy features and less oomph, but with a sleek appearance and a significantly more affordable sticker. There will be a lot of cross-shopping here, especially with not too many roadsters available in this niche. The Miata just got a full makeover for the 2016 model year, receiving new exterior styling, a revamped interior and a new drivetrain. Power comes from Mazda’s 2.0-liter Skyactiv-G engine that produces 155 horsepower and 148 pound-feet of torque. Pricing starts from $24,915.

Read more about the Mazda Miata here.

Porsche 718 Boxster

2017 Porsche 718 Boxster High Resolution Exterior Wallpaper quality
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As a mid-engined sports car that’s both faster and more powerful, the 718 Boxster isn’t the type of car buyers would generally cross-shop with the Miata. However, the 124 Abarth might have just enough power to give the German roadster a run for its money. Moreover, the Fiat’s premium interior might have a shot at matching the Boxster’s luxurious and sporty cabin. Performance-wise, the base 718 Boxster comes with a turbocharged, 2.0-liter flat-four that cranks out 300 horsepower. It charges from 0 to 60 mph in 4.9 seconds with a manual and 4.7 ticks with the automatic and hits a top speed of 170 mph. Pricing starts from $56,000.

Find out more about the Porsche 718 Boxster here.

Conclusion

2018 Fiat 124 Spider Abarth High Resolution Exterior Wallpaper quality
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The Fiat 124 Sport Spider is a legend among European roadsters and Fiat’s decision to launch an Abarth version of its 21st century iteration is downright brilliant. The sports-compact niche is in dire need of new competitors, and the 124 Spider Abarth seems like the perfect addition to the already available Mazda Miata and Porsche 718 Boxster. It remains to be seen whether the new model will live up to the original Abarth 124 Rally, a homologation special launched in 1972, but seeing how Fiat used its heritage in the modern Abarth 500, the Italians can’t go wrong with this one. Finger’s crossed that the U.S. model comes with more than 170 horsepower on tap.

  • Leave it
    • Might not stand a chance against the new, turbocharged 718 Boxster
    • U.S. model not yet confirmed
    • Significantly more expensive than a Miata

Updated History

Updated 03/01/2016: Abarth unveiled the new 124 Spider at the 2016 Geneva Motor Show.

Updated 12/04/2015: Our spy photographers caught the upcoming 124 Spider testing for the first time.

Updated 11/23/2015: Now that we’ve seen the Fiat 124 Spider its time to think of its next logical iteration: an Abarth version. Based on the recent rumors and details, we created a rendering that might help you make an idea on how the next car could look like.

Spy Shots

December 4, 2015 - First testing session

2018 Fiat 124 Spider Abarth
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2018 Fiat 124 Spider Abarth
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2018 Fiat 124 Spider Abarth
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Rendering

2018 Fiat 124 Spider Abarth High Resolution Exterior Exclusive Renderings Computer Renderings and Photoshop
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Press Release

The new Abarth 124 spider aims at sweeping a new generation off their feet with its performance and technical DNA. It combines the authentic roadster experience packed with thrills, technology, safety and a touch of unmistakable Italian design. The car will be available in September with prices starting from € 40,000 for all Europe.

2018 Fiat 124 Spider Abarth High Resolution Exterior
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Performance DNA

The new Abarth 124 spider combines the great sensorial experiences of excitement and driving fun that only a spider can give. Developed with input from the Abarth Racing Team, the car exemplifies at best the distinctive Abarth values: performance, craftsmanship and technical excellence. It is the car that will bring back the smile on the driver’s face.

Rear-Wheel drive architecture with Mechanical Limited-Slip Differential

124 spider is designed for thrills and performance and has all the qualities needed to satisfy even the most difficult-to-please drivers. For exceptional dynamism, the Abarth 124 spider is equipped with a sports mechanical Limited-Slip differential as standard to secure drive and traction in the most critical situations and provide incomparable dynamic behavior.

Perfect weigh distribution and lightweight design

Abarth 124 spider creates a new benchmark in the sporty roadster segment and this is confirmed in numbers. Much of the weight is concentrated between the axles and the engine is installed behind the front axle to guarantee agility and superior driving feel. Sophisticated mechanicals and the use of special materials have contained the weight to just 1,060 kilograms, which results in a weight-to-power ratio of 6.2 kg/HP, the best in its category, and perfect 50/50 weight distribution in running order, which translates in great agility and performance. Taking on board the lessons learned through the Abarth racing series, the weight obsession pushed Abarth to eliminate gram by gram all possible weight: For instance, an active bonnet system was developed in order to comply with the strict passenger collision standards without damaging the weight coefficient or balance of the car. By using sensors on the cross-member and two pyrotechnic loads in the engine compartment, the system recognises danger and deploys in a few milliseconds to guarantee a safety gap and attenuate the collision against the bonnet.

2018 Fiat 124 Spider Abarth High Resolution Exterior
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Supercar mechanics and suspensions scheme

The suspension of the 124 spider has a high double-wishbone layout in front and a five-link set up in the rear, specifically tuned for greater braking and cornering stability. Steering ensures a great driving feeling with the use of a dual pinion electric power assist system.
The Abarth dynamic vehicle set-up ensures customers can get the most out of the rear-wheel drivetrain, always aiming for the true driving pleasure. Also the "Abarth by Bilstein" dampers, together with stiffened anti-roll bars, provide ultimate handling and driving comfort.
The Brembo braking system, with aluminum front callipers, guarantees very short braking distances and excellent resistance to brake fade, making the pedal always feel pleasant and safe.

Powerful engine and sporty gearboxes for an extraordinary driving experience

The Abarth 124 spider offered in the EMEA region is equipped with a powerful, reliable four-cylinder 1.4-litre MultiAir Turbo engine. It delivers 170 HP (about 124 HP per litre) and 250 Nm of torque. It has a top speed of 230 km/h and goes from 0 to 100 km/h in 6.8-seconds. Furthermore, the sound of engine really matters in an Abarth car, so the Record Monza exhaust come equipped as standard, generating a beautiful growling sound.

The spider is available with a six-speed manual or the automatic Sequenziale Sportivo gearbox. The first is characterised by quick and accurate shifting with a short-throw, direct lever.

The Sequenziale Sportivo gearboxis the result of careful tuning to exploit all the engine torque and conveys genuine racing sensations. Using the lever orthe paddles behind the steering wheel, shifting is extremely fast and the performance of the car is boosted even further by setting "Sport" mode on the driving mode selector.

Throttle-steer driving style

The Abarth 124 spider comes with state-of-the-art electronic devices and active safety featuresbut to ensure the Abarth provides a proper race car feeling when driving on track, the new 124 Spider lets the driver disengage the electronic controls to experience the perfect mechanical balance and linear engine response, the trademarks of a genuine rear-wheel drive sportscar.

Officine Abarth: high technology, hand-crafted care

Officine Abarth, based in Mirafiori, is where the 124 spider emphasise the typical Italian art of driving.

2018 Fiat 124 Spider Abarth High Resolution Exterior
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The 124 receives a special treatment from Abarth technicians, who truly love cars. The Abarth people bring their values to an already great product, by fitting the Racing Anti-glare kit, a matt black treatment for bonnet and boot lid, the Racing Alcantara® Kit that contributes to elevate the overall interior quality, ensuring at the same time a proper sporting feel due to its dark finishing and grip.

The standard-fit Record Monza exhaust is also installed in Officine Abarth, to ensure outstanding engine performance and an unmistakable sound.

Each car is tested and certified by an Abarth technician who applies a metal plate showing the sequential number of each car to certify the exclusiveness of Abarth 124 spider. A unique number for a unique client.

Design true to the Abarth DNA

The design of the Abarth 124 spider reflects the superb mechanical layout of the car, a key element to achieve the perfect proportions for a sport car: A long bonnet to underline the importance of the engine and the powerful attitude of the car, reduced overhangs to emphasize its agile attitude, a cabin close to the rear axle to let the driver feel the road.

The passenger compartment-to-bonnet ratio is comparable to that of a racing car. A horizontal line rises from the front and stretches rearward to join with the rear line near the rear light cluster: this is an unmistakable reference to the classic 124 spider.

The design is all about performance: both the front bumper, with its larger air intake, and the rear bumper’s aerodynamic extractor were both shaped in the wind tunnel, as were the rear spoiler and wind stop which both contribute to improving air flow. The 17-inch alloy wheels, the windscreen surround and the roll bars are finished in "Forgiato Grey", a colour selected to underline the bold, technical inclination of the car.

The original headlights together with the front hexagonal grille contribute to reasserting the car’s bold personality. The bonnet humps suggest the longitudinal position of the engine: this is a direct reference to the original 124 spider. The exclusive LED headlights and rear lights add expressiveness to the car, both during the day and at night. An important detail are the rear light cluster inserts in matching body colour which form a luminous ring-shaped surface.

The rear end of Abarth 124 spider is characterised by two elements: the swallow-tail section rear wings and the horizontal rear lights which pick up particular features of its classic predecessor. The shape of the rear bumpers with the upper surface jutting into the boot lid conveys a characteristic V-shape to the back of the car.
Five body colours are available: special solid "Turini 1975 White " and "Costa Brava 1972 Red, metallic "Isola d’Elba 1974 Blue", "Portogallo 1974 Grey" and "San Marino 1972 Black". The nomenclature is a clear tribute to its prestigious success in rallying.

2018 Fiat 124 Spider Abarth High Resolution Interior
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Interior design

The Abarth DNA is also confirmed inside with an overall focus aimed at guaranteeing ideal ergonomics. The leather seats are supportive and very comfortable at the same time, and allow for a positive driving position as far back and as low as possible to better perceive any lateral movement of the car. Also, the controls are perfectly in tune with the car’s sporty set-up: the position of the aluminium pedal board, the small-diameter steering wheel, the short gear lever and the start button on the dashboard all contribute to conveying a sporty driving experience. The instrument panel includes a large rev counter with red background arranged in central position.

Active and passive safety

The new Abarth 124 Spider is equipped with a host of state-of-the-art active and passive safety devices. In addition to the ABS, standard equipment includes the EBD, for adjusting front and rear brake force distribution so as to optimise braking distances and control in all load conditions of the car,

and ESC for increased control in all driving conditions. It is useful in critical situations, e.g. on corners and mixed surfaces in presence of snow, ice and gravel. The ESC applies selective braking and acts on the accelerator to bring the car back on line if a difference between the driver’s action and trajectory is detected. The ERM is an extension of the ESC system and exploits the sensors to calculate whether the car is approaching a potentially dangerous condition at risk of rolling over. It corrects the risk by applying the brakes separately and modulating the accelerator position as needed. It can be fully disengaged for track driving to allow the driver exploit the Abarth 124 spider’s outstanding balance and dynamic abilities to the full.

The three-point seat belts employ Constant-Force Retractors (CFR) to control the degree of force applied by the belt and then gradually release it in controlled manner.

The LED adaptive headlights are available to guarantee driving pleasure even in poor visibility conditions. They can be equipped with rain sensor and dusk sensor on demand.

Equipment: sportiness and comfort

The following details apply to the EMEA region and may vary according to the various market needs. See the www.fiatpress.com website for complete information.

The new Abarth 124 spider has a three-gauge instrument panel featuring a large rev counter in the middle, a speedometer on the right and a data display on the left allowing the driver to monitor all key driving information at a glance.

2018 Fiat 124 Spider Abarth High Resolution Exterior Wallpaper quality
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Standard equipment includes manual climate control system, stereo with four speakers, MP3 player and USB port, cruise control, adjustable and electrically-folded door mirrors.
Other features available on demand include the infotainment system with an ergonomic and intuitive knob on the central unit. According to the configuration, the system can feature a 7-inch colour display, satellite navigation system, DAB digital tuner, two USB ports, AUX input, Bluetooth connectivity and a rear backup camera.
For superior sound quality, a Bose premium sound system with nine speakers, including dual headrest speakers on both seats and a subwoofer, can be chosen.

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