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Pedja's 1968 Firebird

2019 March
of the Month

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Car and Driver: U.S.-Spec 2017 Fiat 124 Spider Elaborazione Abarth Is a Miata Club with an Italian Accent

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The Fiat 124 Spider, otherwise known as the Mazda Miata’s Italian cousin, showed its sportier side when the Abarth-tuned droptop made its debut at the Geneva auto show earlier this year. Now we have full details on the Abarth-ized 124 that we’ll get in the states. Officially called the 2017 Fiat 124 Spider Elaborazione Abarth, this new model’s performance upgrades are roughly equivalent to the Miata’s Club package.

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Unlike the European-spec Abarth which has 170 horsepower, the U.S.-spec Fiat 124 Abarth doesn’t get any extra power (sadly). The 1.4-liter turbocharged four-cylinder makes the same 160 horsepower and 184 lb-ft of torque as the standard 124, although the Abarth’s specially tuned exhaust should offer unique aural delights. Other upgrades include a limited-slip differential, Bilstein dampers front and rear, and an optional Brembo brake package that includes 17-inch wheels. If that equipment list sounds familiar, it’s because it’s nearly identical to the Miata’s Club trim level and its extra-cost ($3400) Brembo/BBS package.

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2017 Fiat Abarth 124 Spider

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Luckily, America’s 124 Abarth doesn’t cede anything to the European version in terms of looks. It still features the same more-aggressive front fascia, matte-black hood, and larger wheels finished in gray that make it look a whole lot meaner than the cutesy standard 124. The Abarth’s interior, too, is done up with red accents everywhere, aluminum pedals, and optional Recaro sport seats.

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Look for the 124 Abarth to reach our shores a few months after the standard Spider, which is scheduled to arrive this summer. It will offer both a six-speed manual or a six-speed automatic with paddle shifters, and should be priced a few thousand dollars higher than the non-Abarth 124 range.

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2017 Fiat 124 Spider Abarth

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