It’s always a good day when you can get behind the wheel of a little convertible on a warm sunny day. it’s even better if that car is performance oriented, with good handling accompanying good power and great looks.
The FIAT 124 Spider Abarth is a fine automobile with a long history, but most here in the United States have no clue about it. FIAT pulled out of this market way back in the early 1980s so those born around that time and after have not heard of the brand or the poor quality and low sales that were the demise of FIAT in the US.
Thankfully, the brand is making a resurgence in the US in the early 21st century times we are in. The breakthrough model was the 500 and it now has three different variants; 500, 500L, and 500X. All three share components and a common look, with the 500 being the little car that could and the L and X models wearing larger clothes as they are small SUVs.
The odd duckling is the 124 Spider. It is a collaborative effort between FIAT and Mazda, which is a wonderful thing for you and me. With handling and all-around goodness of the MX-5 Miata and Italian styling based on the original 124, this new car has got a lot going for it.
Powering the 124 is a turbo-charged inline 4-cylinder making 160 horsepower and torque of 184 pound-feet. The Abarth gets a five horsepower boost and the same torque. Both versions get a choice between two 6-speed transmissions, one manual and one automatic.
Yes, it resembles the Miata, mostly in the side profile, but there’s only so much you can do to change the look. I think Fiat did a great job of differentiating the 124 from the Miata on the outside. Inside, you get Mazda, which is not a bad thing. Comfy seats and a tight cockpit make for an exhilarating ride!
Thanks for reading!
…See you down the road!