A Closer Look At The 2018 Fiat 124 Spider Abarth

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For the second time around, Fiat puts its own spin on the Mazda MX-5 and brings to life the legend that is the 2018 Fiat 124 Spider Abarth. With some major performance adjustments and stunning visual cues reminiscent of the original roadster from 1966, Fiat manages to bring back the Italian roadster experience we know and love.

Written by: Akeem Johsnon-Pierre

Photography by: Luna M. Nashar

 

 Image by FCA CANADA

Image by FCA CANADA

 Image by FCA CANADA

Image by FCA CANADA


Being the lucky lefty that I am, the same week I received the car for a test drive, was the same week mother nature decided to send a week of rain in my direction. The slick roads brought on by the weather did prove useful towards testing the cars rear-wheel drive system on sharp corners. Stability control turned off, the cars nimble agility brought on by a near perfect power-to-weight ratio was in full effect.


It only takes one look at the car to be taken away by its beautiful Italian design. From the signature Abarth logo on the front and rear, the black bonnet on its hood and decklid, and the 17-inch gunmetal aluminium wheels and mirror caps, the 124 spider has no shortage of reasons to turn heads. After driving across two major cities in Canada, I can confirm this roadster is a rare sight, which is a great thing for those drivers looking to stand out on the road.



Performance wise the 124 spider features a 1.4L MultiAir® 16V Turbo I-4 with 164hp and 184 lb-ft of torque; Given the cars’ overall lightweight, 164hp goes a long way. The 124 Spider goes from 0 to 100 km/h in 6.8 seconds and has a top speed of 232 km/h, which with the top down is enough to blow your hat off and then some. The Abarth version of the 124 spider has two available drivetrains:  a short-throw 6-speed manual transmission and 6-speed AISIN® automatic transmission with paddle shifters, the former being more fun than the latter of course.

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The 2018 124 Spider is eye-candy, it also is a pleasure to hear. Not only for its Bose® Premium Sound System with 9 speakers including dual Bluetooth® headrest speakers but for its signature Abarth Record Exhaust system. The exhaust system hosts four chrome exits, an unmistakable design, and an aggressive sound meant to pay homage to the speed record broken by Carlo Abarth on the famous Italian circuit.  

 Image by FCA CANADA

Image by FCA CANADA


I was concerned with comfort seeing as tall drivers and small Italian sports cars go together like water and oil, but After spending several hours in the newly designed 124 spider, I was pleasantly surprised to see that the roadsters size was not an issue. In fact, the only drawback from the size of the car was me having to reach behind for the window control. I could have also done with a lesser straightened seating position.


Minor details aside, the 2018 Fiat 124 Spider Abarth seeks to keep the spirit of the original 1966 model alive by arousing feelings of bliss and exhilaration, and achieves this with flying colours. It’s stand out Italian design attracts a considerable amount of attention, and I must say, I even found myself cracking a smile or two behind the wheel, even on those rainy days.