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ICONIC 124 SPIDER RETURNS WITH HOT TO TROT HIGH VALUE ABARTH MODEL LEADING THE CHARGE
There’ll be no base Fiat 124 Spider in New Zealand, but the 25 per cent more powerful Abarth model is quicker, slicker and likely to go like hot cakes at $52,990, says DAVE MOORE.
It’s not really bad news at all that Fiat’s 124 Spider is not be coming to New Zealand. That’s because instead we’re getting only high-performance Abarth versions of the long-awaited roadster, which makes it even more desirable than the Fiat from which it is derived.
While this means we’ll be missing out on the pretty base model of the Spider, the Abarth pricing and specification appears to make up for it.
Instead of the Fiat version’s 103kW, the Abarth fronts with the same turbocharged MultiAir 1.4-litre engine fettled to produce 125 kW and a useful 250 Nm at just 2500 rpm. The unit drives through a choice of six-speed manual or automatic transmissions, the latter with steering-wheel mounted with paddle shifters.
The engine exhausts through a chrome quad-tipped system, and can be optioned with a ‘Monza’ exhaust for a full Abarth soundtrack. Fiat/Abarth say the 124 Spider can reach 100kmh on 6.8 seconds and where legal it will top-out at 232kmh.
The standard Abarth set-up also comes with sports suspension, a mechanical LSD with sport mode and Brembo brakes, along with Bilstein shock absorbers.
The New Zealand-spec Abarth comes in full dress-up mode, with what its importers call an: “aggressive appearance” with unique front and rear fascias, 17-inch gunmetal aluminium wheels, gunmetal exterior accents.
Inside, the car has leather sports seats as standard and a three-dial instrument panel featuring a large tacho in the middle, a speedometer on the right and a display area on the left for key driving information.
Standard equipment includes climate control, stereo with four speakers, mp3 player, USB and AUX ports, and cruise control.
The Abarth 124 Spider is retail stickered at $52,990 for the manual, while two grand more will get you an automatic.