The Abarth 124 Spider

The “Fiata”, the new Fiat-branded Mazda Miata (ND), also known as the 124 Spider, is getting a power boost, and a scorpion badge.

The standard 1.4 liter Multiair is getting 10 more horsepower, up from 160 (in the EU market, the base engine is 138 horsepower), to 170 horsepower. Torque is still at 184 lb-ft (EU has 177 lb-ft), and all that has changed is the new Record Monza exhaust system, which flows freer, and allows more power delivery. The exhaust will sound better than the 500 Abarth system, I say this because a lot more decibels will of pure awesome shoot out the back. The 124 Abarth goes 0-60 in 6.8 seconds, which is pretty quick, and its top speed is 230 km/h, or 143 mph.

That new engine is mated to a 6-speed manual, or a 6-speed paddle-shifted automatic, which I think will make great use of the 1.4 liter’s power output. A (yay!) mechanical limited-slip differential at the rear. The automatic transmission, the Sequenizale Sportivo, has a sport mode, which tunes shift points to the engine’s torque curve for the most efficient shifts.

The Abarth is lighter than the standard 124, at a curb weight of 2,339 pounds, compared to the standard car’s stated 2400 pound curb. That’s 67 pounds lost, which will help the Abarth go faster and turn sharper than the standard car. It has a 50/50 weight distribution, which helps balance the weight between all four tires. Compared to the Miata and the stock 124, the Abarth has stiffer suspension and better brakes, courtesy of Bilstein and Brembo.

The interior of the 124 Abarth is driver-focused, yet still offers a lot of options for today’s world. The Abarth has leather bucket seats standard, a 4-speaker (just a component system in each door) stereo, with MP3 and USB capabilities. A Bose (No highs, no lows, it must be Bose) 9-speaker stereo is optional, which I’m guessing is the aforementioned component systems, a subwoofer, and headrest speakers. Headrest speakers don’t make any sense, but I’m not an Abarth engineer. Aluminum pedals, a small-diameter steering wheel, and a short gear lever wrap up the interior.

Every 124 Abarth is personally tested in Abarth’s offices in Italy, and each is assigned a unique ID number, which makes every car special. The 124 Abarth is literally a mini-me Ferrari with a Mazda chassis. If that’s a bad thing, what’s worse?