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 03/01/2016: Abarth unveiled the new 124 Spider at the 2016 Geneva Motor Show.
Continue reading to find out more about the 2018 Fiat 124 Spider Abarth.