This is a slick special edition that’s worthy of the title-winning rally car

Abarth is headed to 2019 Geneva Motor Show with a spicy special edition sports car that pays tribute to the Abarth 124 Rally racer that triumphed in the 2018 FIA R-GT Cup. The special edition 124 Spider is appropriately called the Rally Tribute Special Edition, and it packs a collection of exclusive features that celebrates its status as a tribute car to the rally racer that, in addition to winning the R-GT Cup, also collected 40 class victories in the 12 national championships in which it competed. Only 124 units of the Abarth 124 Rally Tribute will be made. Pricing and allocation details haven’t been announced, but expect the special edition 124 to fetch north of $30,000 on account of the base Abarth 124 that starts at $28,295.

What Makes the 2020 Fiat 124 Rally Tribute Special?

2019 Abarth 124 Rally Tribute
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You can always count on Fiat — and Abarth — to have something special in store for the Geneva Motor Show. Last year, it was the Abarth 124 GT that was present in the show. Two years ago, it was the Abarth 124 Scoprione. This year, Abarth is tapping into an easy source for a special edition model: a championship-winning race car.

That racer, the Abarth 124 Rally racer had an eventful 2018.

Not only did it dominate the FIA R-GT Cup, but it did so by (almost) sweeping all the podium finishes in the five-stage series.

The only blemish on that record occurred at the Rally di Roma Capitale when a Porsche 997 GT3, the only other make-and-model to compete in the series, squeaked in with a third-place finish. In addition to its thorough annihilation of the R-GT Cup, the Abarth 124 Rally car collected a whopping 40 victories in 12 different racing competitions for the entire year.

2019 Abarth 124 Rally Tribute
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So if Abarth wanted to build a special edition 124 for the 2019 Geneva Motor Show, it’s only fitting that the automaker pays tribute to the seemingly untouchable Abarth 124 Rally race car. Well, don’t look now because that’s exactly what Abarth did.

The 2020 Abarth 124 Rally Tribute is the perfect showcase special edition sports car for the title-winning rally car.

In keeping the spirit of the latter alive, the Abarth 124 Rally Tribute is available in two colors: Costa Brava Red and Turini White: A matte black hood and trunk complement the predominantly red (or white) body. This particular color setup is more than just fancy aesthetics; the matte black hood helps reduce the sun’s reflection, which was a critical part of the Abarth 124 Rally car’s success. Abarth also added mirror caps and parts of the bumper that are finished in either gunmetal grey with a Costa Brava Red livery or Racing Red with splashes of Turini White paintwork. A new set of 17-inch alloy wheels finished in a Racing White shade complete the exterior upgrades that are included in the Abarth 124 Rally Tribute. The wheels themselves are lighter versions of the standard stock, contributing a loss of as much as 4 kilos (8.8 pounds) to the car’s overall weight. That might be an insignificant number to some, but that should still be significant enough to give the special edition 124 an extra pep in its step.

2019 Abarth 124 Rally Tribute
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The interior isn’t awash in special edition features so don’t expect to get blown away by it.

Still, there are enough features in this section to justify its special edition billing. The sport bucket seats are wrapped in red leather. That’s always a good choice when it comes to special edition models. The seats are heated, too. That actually counts as one of many features that come standard in the Abarth 124 Rally Tribute. If Alcantara’s your jam, you’ll be happy to know that the special edition sports car comes with generous trim helpings of the good stuff. Automatic climate control also comes standard, as does a premium Bose sound system with nine speakers, four of which are built into the head restrains. These goodies are included in Abarth’s Radio Plus Pack, which also happens to come with an integrated infotainment system, a seven-inch color touchscreen, a DAB digital under, a user-friendly knob on the central tunnel, and a smattering of connectivity ports of the wired and wireless varieties. Two USB ports? Check. An AUX port? You got it. Bluetooth? Yes, sir!

2019 Abarth 124 Rally Tribute
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Needless to say, the special edition Abarth 124 Rally Tribute wouldn’t be complete without one of its most important exclusive feature: the Abarth-branded floor mats. Can’t leave home without those bad boys!

There are no engine upgrades included in the Abarth 124 Rally Tribute. I know. Sad, right?

To make matters worse, the Abarth 124 Rally Tribute doesn’t come with the same 300-horsepower, 1.8-liter turbocharged “Bialbero” engine with direct injection that the race car was equipped with.

If Abarth’s building a special edition version that’s based on a race car, you would think that it would throw in the latter’s engine into the special edition to really drive the special edition label home. Unfortunately, Abarth didn’t play that game. In fact, it didn’t play any games at all with the 124’s engine because we’re getting the standard 1.4-liter turbocharged engine that “only” produces 170 horsepower and 184 pound-feet of torque. I get the decision to stick with the standard engine because fitting the bigger 1.8-liter unit would have driven the cost up. It’s just that those expecting to have a 300-horsepower special edition Abarth 124 Rally Tribute will be severely disappointed when they find out that they’re only getting a little over half of that output in their special edition models.

2019 Abarth 124 Rally Tribute
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The good news is that even with the smaller engine, Abarth coaxed a few performance upgrades in the special edition 124. The go-fast goodies include new Brembo brakes and a Record Monza exhaust with a dual-mode system. You’re not getting a 300-horsepower Abarth 124, but with this exhaust system, there’s a chance that you can get a sports car that sounds like it has 300 horsepower. Besides, the Brembo brakes are nice additions, too. And I did mention that the Abarth 124 Rally Tribute is lighter on its toes, even if we’re only talking about nine pounds of difference. Take your victories when you can get them, folks.

All told, Abarth's only building 124 units of the 124 Rally Tribue.

Pricing details and availability haven’t been announced, but that’s what the 2019 Geneva Motor Show is for. Expect those important pieces of information to arrive then.

Further reading

2017 Fiat 124 Spider High Resolution Exterior
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Read our full review on the 2017 Fiat 124 Spider.

2018 Fiat 124 Spider Abarth
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Read our full review on the 2018 Fiat 124 Spider Abarth.

Abarth 124 Rally Tribute

The Geneva show hosts the global debut of the new Abarth 124 Rally Tribute, celebrating the "124 rally" racing car’s triumph - last year - in the FIA R-GT Cup, as well as about 40 class victories in the 12 national championships in which it competed.
Produced in a limited edition of just 124 cars, the new Abarth 124 Rally Tribute reveals unique contents which make it a genuine "collector’s item", such as the specific commemorative badge on the mudguards and, inside the cockpit, the numbered metal plaque certifying its exclusive status. The exclusive stylistic characterisation and its peerless standard outfit transform this car into an emblem of the brand’s core values: performance, craftsman-like care and technical excellence.
Like the 124 Spider from which it derives, the new Abarth 124 Rally Tribute is outstandingly dynamic and agile, thanks above all to its mechanical self-locking differential - one of the very few cars to offer it in this segment - and its weight being concentrated within the wheelbase. Its light weight of just 1,060 kg guarantees outstanding agility, with an excellent weight-power ratio of 6.2 kg/HP.
Under the bonnet is a powerful 1.4 litre four-cylinder turbocharged engine with MultiAir technology. With Euro6/D homologation, it delivers 170 HP (in other words, about 124 HP per litre) and 250 Nm of torque, for a top speed of 232 km/h and acceleration from 0 to 100 km/h in 6.8 seconds, paired with a six-speed manual transmission. Last but not least, the suspensions feature high double wishbone suspension on the front and five-arm multi-link on the rear.
Not to mention the use of the legendary Record Monza exhaust on the new Abarth 124 Rally Tribute, with dual mode system capable of modifying the flow of the exhaust gas according to engine rpm and guaranteeing linear torque delivery and generating a satisfying, deep roar. Other racing-derived technical features include the brakes, developed and produced by Brembo and the ultralight 17" alloy wheels with a Racing White finish, giving a weight reduction of 4 kg, which provides enhanced handling and an even sportier design.
The new Abarth 124 Rally Tribute is available in two bodywork colours, Costa Brava Red and Turini White, both combined with matte black bonnet, a reference to the historic Abarth 124 Rally, which featured this solution to reduce sun dazzle for the driver. In addition, the mirror caps and DAM are in gunmetal grey with Costa Brava Red livery, or Racing Red with Turini White paintwork.
The standard outfit also includes luxury comfort features, such as the heated leather seats, the Alcantara kit, the Abarth mats and the Radio Plus Pack. This pack comprises the integrated infotainment system, controlled using a convenient, user-friendly knob on the central tunnel. It also features a 7-inch colour touchscreen, DAB digital tuner, two USB ports, AUX port and Bluetooth connection. It is combined with a Bose sound system with nine speakers, four of which are built into the head restraints. The pack include automatic climate control.
Key Accessories available from the Mopar catalogue for the Abarth 124 spider include the carbon fibre hard top: high-tech, lightweight and safe, it gives the car a true coupé style while retaining all the excitement and driving joy only a genuine roadster can offer. The oversize strut bar guarantees greater torsional rigidity for even more superlative handling. Not to mention a series of accessories, such as the drink holder kit with silver rings and aluminium cup with 124 Spider logo, which help to make the interior even more exclusive, while the boot net with Mopar logo aids load organisation, for the utmost freedom on the road.

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