Geneva Motor Show LIVE: Abarth 124 Spider image

The Italian specialty marquee has decided to make our day here in Geneva where it has introduced in a world premiere the feistier take on the recently launched Fiat 124 Spider.

We all know the Fiat 124 Spider is a reiteration of the Mazda MX-5 (and having such a base is a great starter anyways) but in all earnest the only model that is worth considering is actually the hotter Abarth version. And the automaker has even presented a very interesting rally configuration for the model in a bid to return to the world of motorsport. The Abarth variant comes with a more dynamic stance thanks to the sportier exterior design and also has a more powerful soul. The performance roadster has also shed some weight and comes packing a lively two-tone black and white paint with contrasting red accents on the side mirror caps, brake calipers, and on the front bumper.

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There’s a new body kit with pronounced bumpers, new side skirts and a more aggressive rear packing quad exhaust tips and additional vents. The highlights continue with the bigger17-inch wheels that house the Brembo brakes featuring front aluminum calipers. Under the hood beats the heart of a turbocharged 1.4-liter MultiAir petrol engine churning out 170 hp and 250 Nm of torque. This will be enough to perform the 0 to 62 miles (100 kilometers) per hour run in 6.8 seconds and the new top speed stands at 143 mph (230 km/h). The transmission setup is a standard six-speed manual gearbox or an optional sequential version with paddles behind the steering wheel.

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There’s also a standard “Record Monza” exhaust system to deliver a “beautiful growling sound” and handling is assisted through the use of a mechanical limited-slip differential. The performance mix is spiced up by the lightweight assembly – the Abarth 124 Spider tips the scales at just 2,337 pounds (1,060 kg). The model is tipped to reach dealerships starting September for a rather steep asking price of 40,000 euros in Europe.