Abarth 124 Spider

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THE 124 was a bit underwhelming when we first saw it. With an Abarth paint job and some Rallye kit it becomes what we always wanted it to be.

It cranks up the gristle with a 126kW/250Nm version of Fiatís 1.4-litre, turbo, in-line four-cylinder motor. Thatís enough to get it to 100km/h in 6.8 seconds (the stock Fiat 124 claims 7.5).

So far, so good. Weight rises to 1060kg, but Fiat claims it retains 50:50 weight distribution. It will give the option of a six-speed manual or a six-speed paddle-shift auto, and itís stiffened up with Bilstein dampers, Brembo anchors and stiffer springs all around.

There is even better news to come. A promised Scorpion version of the Abarth 124 could have even more grunt, because the 1.75-litre, 177kW motor from the 4C bolts straight in to the 124ís engine bay! M