Fiat's go-fast subsidiary Abarth has debuted its latest model, the Abarth 124 Spider, at the Geneva Motor Show today, showcasing the company's first RWD performance car since the Fiat Abarth 131 Rally of the late 1970s.
Following less than six months from the international debut of the Fiat 124 Spider at the Los Angeles Auto Show in November last year, the Abarth 124 has been gifted a comprehensive set of mechanical and visual upgrades to set it apart.
The most noticeable of these is the more aggressive bodywork, with a black bonnet, black bootlid and heavily vented front bumper complemented by unique 17-inch alloy wheels, red-painted Brembo brake calipers, red mirror caps and a gloss grey windscreen frame.
Under the skin lies a boosted-up version of the Fiat 124's 1.4 litre Multijet turbocharged inline four, with power output rising from the stock 119kW to 127kW. Torque remains the same at 250Nm, but a Record Monza sports exhaust gives the little 1.4 a rortier exhaust note.
Power is fed to the rear wheels via a six-speed manual or a "sequenziale sportivo" automatic, with a mechanical limited-slip differential helping put power down and limiting wheelspin in corners.
The Abarth 124's chassis, which is based on that used by the Mazda MX-5, features its own unique suspension calibration for the double-wishbone front and multilink rear hardware that's been tuned for better stability during hard conering and braking.
Dampers are supplied by Bilstein and there are thicker anti-roll bars, while Brembo front calipers improve stopping performance. With a kerb weight of just 1060kg, the turbocharged Abarth 124 Spider weighs just 27kg more than the less powerful Mazda MX-5 2.0 manual.
Inside, the Abarth 124 Spider features leather sports seats, alloy pedals, a leather-bound steering wheel and Abarth-specific suede trim on the lower dash.
Though it hasn't yet been confirmed for Australia, a local arrival for the Abarth 124 Spider is nevertheless a strong possibility. Watch this space.