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Along came a Fiat Spider: Topless Abarth 124 arrives in SA

2016-11-28 10:26

ABA-A-A-ARTH! Fiat's 124 got the Abarth treatment for what should be a very lively car. Image: QuickPic


Fiat's 124 will arrive in South Africa in 2017. Based on the Mazda MX-5, the Italian car uses a turbocharged 1.4-litre engine. Listen to the difference between the standard exhaust and the Abarth version fitted with the optional Mopar kit.

Midrand - Fiat announces the arrival of the all new Abarth 124 Spider to local showrooms from December 2016.

Fiat says its Abarth 124 Spider is targeted at a new generation of enthusiasts with its performance and technical DNA.

The Abarth 124 Spider will be available immediately from Abarth dealerships countrywide - retailing for R649 900 - and comes standard with a three year or 100 000km warranty and maintenance plan. Metallic paint is the only option available at R4500

Why purchase an Abarth Spider? Fiat SA says: "This is a car designed to put a smile back on the faces of those lucky enough to drive it. Capitalising on the lessons learnt from the Abarth racing team, the obsession for lightness drove the brand to slim down every single unnecessary gram from the car."


The Spider is powered by a 1.4-litre four-cylinder turbocharged engine with MultiAir technology. It delivers 125kW (that is about 91kW per litre) and 250Nm, has a top speed of 232km/h and accelerates from 0 to 100km/h in 6.8 seconds.

The engine sound is a fundamental element of all Abarth cars, and standard equipment includes the Record Monza exhaust with dual mode system capable of modifying the path of the exhaust gas according to the engine speed.

The Abarth 124 Spider is available with a six-speed manual transmission.

Image: QuickPic

Unadulterated driving

The suspension of the 124 spider features double wishbone suspension on the front and a five-arm multi-link on the rear. The set-up is calibrated to increase stability in corners, says Fiat, and for compression braking.

The Abarth 124 spider fits a standard mechanical self-locking differential that should see the rear of the car be more stable with enhanced traction.

The electronic driving aids can be switched off by the driver to for a rear-wheel-drive sports car experience.

The electronic controls are integrated in the Drive Mode Selector, which makes it possible to select the two different performance settings by means of a lever on the central tunnel: “Normal” and “Sport”. Fiat says the system can intervene on multiple parameters: maximum delivered torque, accelerator pedal response, power steering operation level, stability and traction control threshold (if they are not switched off for race track driving), exhaust sound by managing the engine while shifting.

Image: QuickPic

True to the Abarth DNA

The Abarth 124 spider was designed to promote the proportions of a sports car thanks to the stretched bonnet and the short overhangs.

Fiat says the design was developed with a focus on performance. Because of this, the large air intake on the front bumper and the rear aerodynamic extractor were fine-tuned in the wind tunnel, together with the rear spoiler and the windscreen to optimise air flow.

The finish of the 17” alloy wheel rims, the windscreen surround and the roll bars are “Forgiato Grey”.

The car is available in five colours: two pastel, “Turini 1975 White” and “Costa Brava 1972 Red”, and three metallic, “Isola d’Elba 1974 Blue”, “Portogallo 1974 Grey" and “San Marino 1972 Black”. The colours are a homage to the prestigious rally wins of Abarth also in their names.


The Abarth 124 spider dashboard features a three-gauge instrument panel, with the large red tachometer arranged in central position, a speedometer on the right and a display on the left allowing the driver to monitor all key driving information at a glance.

Standard leather seats feature heaters and Fiat says cabin soundproofing is afforded by the noise deadening windscreen, rear window and double-layer top. The latter is designed to be opened and closed with one hand from the driver's seat in a few seconds. Once folded behind the seats it does not occupy space in the boot.

Standard kit includes climate control, stereo with four speakers, mp3 player, USB and AUX ports, cruise control, adjustable and electrically folded exterior rear view mirrors.

Another standard feature is the Sound Plus pack with an integrated infotainment system that can be operated using a knob on the central tunnel. Sound Plus includes a 7" colour touchscreen, two USB ports, an AUX port and Bluetooth connection features. It is combined with a Bose sound system with nine speakers, four of which are built into the head restraints.

The Abarth 124 Spider also features a keyless start system.

The Abarth 124 spider is fitted with an active bonnet system to comply with the pedestrian collision safety standards. The system detects a collision against a pedestrian and deploys in a few milliseconds to create a safe space between bonnet and engine and thus attenuate the consequences of the impact, says the automaker.

A photo posted by Fiat (@fiatontheweb) on

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