Abarth has confirmed two special edition performance cars for the Geneva Motor Show, one featuring carbonfibre and the other designed with the famous yacht builder Riva. Because Italy.
The 124 GT is a roadster with an expensive difference. The usual soft-top roof has been covered by a special carbonfibre hard-top, a bit like the hard-tops you could get for Honda S2000s and Mazda MX-5s. But much, much more flamboyant.
The hard top slots onto the body in place of the canvas item, which has to be folded out of the way. Quite why you’d buy a convertible sports car only to make it a coupe again has always confused us (it’s not like the rag-top doesn’t keep the warmth in), but clearly we can’t speak for all buyers.
The fixed roof weighs just 16kg, which isn’t a lot considering its size. According to Abarth it also helps improve the torsional rigidity of the chassis. There’s a heated glass rear windscreen for extra winter convenience. The company says the one-piece roof takes just a few minutes to attach or remove.
Elsewhere it comes with 17-inch OZ ‘ultra-light’ alloy wheels that save 3kg per corner, and a 1.4-litre turbocharged petrol engine with 168bhp and 184lb ft of torque. It’ll do 144mph and pass 62mph from rest in 6.8 seconds.
Secondly, for you boating types, there’s the Abarth 695 Rivale. Dubbed the ‘most sophisticated of all Abarth creations,’ it comes as a hatchback or a sliding canvas-roofed convertible. You’ll obviously want the latter for the short drive from your Monaco apartment to the marina where your rich spouse is waiting on their yacht.
The paintwork is the exclusive two-tone Riva Blue and Grey, with aquamarine stripes running around the car’s waist in mimicry of the so-called ‘beauty line’ on yachts. It has a fruity Akrapovic exhaust with – gasp – carbon tail pipes, Brembo anchors and ‘Abarth by Koni’ suspension with variable damping.
Beneath the tiny bonnet is squeezed the standard turbocharged 1.4-litre petrol engine with 177bhp; enough to let the car spring away from the line to 62mph in 6.7 seconds, on the way to a maximum 140mph. If that’s not enough, you also get 695 Rivale badges here and there, and the Uconnect stereo integrates with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay.
To see the 124 go up against the 595 in a head-to-head race, wander right over here.