The new Fiat 124 Spider is supposed to be the Mazda MX-5’s softer, cruisey cousin. That’s just fine, and it’s arguably the better car for what a lot of potential MX-5 customers are after anyway. But what if you do actually want to drive your Fiazda MX-124 hard? You’ll be wanting the Abarth 124 Spider, which has now been confirmed to cost £29,565 for the six-speed manual, and £31,605 for the ‘Sequenziale Sportivo’ six-speed automatic.
Quite a figure, given that the range-topping Mazda MX-5 Recaro is over five grand less. However, the Abarth does look like quite a serious proposition: compared to the standard 124 it sits much lower on Bilstein dampers and stiffer springs, while a mechanical limited-slip differential has been added, and the anti-roll bars have been suitably beefed up.
There are four-piston Brembo brakes at the front, and a 1.4-litre turbocharged sitting under the bonnet kicking out 168bhp and 184lb ft of torque. That’s 10bhp and 36lb ft more than the 2.0-litre MX-5, giving it a 0-62mph time of 6.8 seconds - half a second quicker than the Mazda. You also get a fruity ‘Record Monza’ exhaust as standard, although four tips does seem like overkill…
Want one? Abarth 124 Spiders will be in the UK this summer.