Review - Abarth 124
Presenting the Abarth 124 Spider. It’s essentially a Mazda MX-5 that has been re-skinned to reflect its fancy European business associate.
Abarth is a highly-successful racing and Italian performance company that was sold to Fiat in the 1970s, and can now be thought of as Fiat’s performance arm.
Since its relaunch in 2007, Abarth has transformed cars like the Fiat 500 hatch, 500C, Pulse and the 124 Spider into fire-breathing creations that are far more powerful than their stock siblings, and receive a heap of interior and exterior upgrades to match their performance.
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Abarth and Fiat were, up until the 1970s, completely separate entities until Fiat purchased Carlo Abarth’s racing and performance motoring team in 1971, and has since become known as Fiat’s specialised performance division.
As a result, Abarth is considered part of the Fiat-Chysler Group, which is a subsidiary of the wider Stellantis parent company.
Abarth is considered special due to the racing pedigree of its founder, Carlo Abarth, and its long and hugely successful history of creating competitive rally vehicles for the Fiat Group.
Its modern vehicles are desirable not only for the company’s reputation, but also their rapid acceleration, agile handling, loud exhausts and outlandish styling packages that make them some of the most eye-catching and entertaining cars on the market today.
Abarth vehicles are special due to their fun-loving nature and the impressive handling characteristics on offer from their hardcore platforms and suspension setups that make for an extremely engaging driving experience.
Some of Abarth’s most famous vehicles of the past include the 205A, 124 Abarth Rally and the 131 Abarth, while its best-known modern vehicles include the Abarth 695 Competitizone, the 500e Scorpionissima and the 595 Competitizone.
All three of its modern creations are based on the Fiat 500 hatch, which are fitted with a powerful 1.4-litre turbocharged engine producing up to 132kW of power and 250Nm of torque that help it sprint to 100km/h in 6.7 seconds.
The 500e Scorpionissima is an all-electric Abarth vehicle based on the Fiat 500 that creates 114kW/235Nm from its electric motor, and offers range figures of 320km from its 42kWh lithium-ion battery pack.
Abarth vehicles can certainly be considered a premium or luxury vehicle, though it’s important to remember that most of Abarth’s modifications are centered on performance motoring in mind.
Having said that, the latest Abarth 595 and 695 ranges have received a mix of leather, alcantara and even carbon fibre highlights for the interior cabin, atop a set of brushed aluminium sports pedals, a sporty body kit and a set of black 17-inch alloys.
As a result, modern Abarth vehicles are indeed a luxury product, though the design purpose is more focussed on making the vehicle fast and nimble on its toes rather than simply luxurious inside.
Abarth vehicles receive a three-year, 150,00km warranty that includes three-years worth of roadside assistance here in Australia.
Fiat’s roadside assistance service operates 24-hours a day, and includes assistance with flat tyres and batteries, lost or locked keys, emergency fuel, towing and transportation of the vehicle and more.
If you’re in need of roadside assistance for your Abarth vehicle, you can contact Fiat’s roadside assistance hotline on 1800 870 709.
Abarth’s new car warranty gives buyers three-years or 150,000km of coverage that is supported by Fiat’s network of dealers here in Australia.
The company says that its new car warranty covers everything from the cost of parts and labour needed to complete a repair or remedy any manufacturing faults that have caused an issue, and refers customers to the warranty handbook’s ‘what is not covered’ section to find out more about exclusions from the three-year warranty program.