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Abarth outs Aus 124 Spider specs

Love at first sting: Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) Australia has started spilling the details of the two-seater convertible Abarth 124 Spider ahead of the model’s arrival Down Under early next month.

125kW/250Nm Abarth 124 Spider in local showrooms from October 7


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19 Sep 2016

ABARTH has released the first Australian specifications for the imminent 124 Spider sportscar ahead of its October 7 arrival, confirming that the local version will align with the United Kingdom-spec variant that was detailed in June.

Australian 124s will get 125kW and 250Nm sent to the rear wheels courtesy of its 1.4-litre MultiAir four-cylinder engine via a choice of either six-speed manual gearbox or automatic transmission with the same number of ratios.

Manual versions have a short-shift gear selector for a more involving and sporty feel, while automatic versions have been mapped to make best use of torque and can be prompted into faster cog-swaps by hitting the Sport mode button, or with the steering wheel paddles.

The dash to 100km/h from standstill takes 6.8 seconds for both versions thanks to a near one-tonne kerb weight of 1060kg, which is distributed in the holy grail 50:50 front to rear ratio.

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) Australia sidestepped the milder Fiat 124 for sale Down Under, cutting to the chase with the hotter Abarth version, which brings a number of performance modifications over the Fiat version.

In addition to a more powerful version of the 1.4-litre turbo engine, the Abarth gets a mechanical limited-slip differential (LSD), sports suspension with Bilstein dampers, four-piston Brembo front brakes and an optional quad sport exhaust by specialist Monza for a note that Abarth describes as “earth-shattering”.

At the front end, the 124 Spider rolls on classic double wishbone suspension and a five-link set up at the back with stiffer anti-roll bars front and rear.

The car-maker says the chassis was tuned with a focus on cornering stability and handling but also comfort as well.

Alloy wheels measure 17 inches, wear 205/45 rubber and are decorated with Gun Metal paint.

While the 124 Spider is full of the customary electronic vehicle stability systems, Abarth points out that the various systems can be deactivated when safe to do so for a “proper racecar feeling”.

On the inside, the 124 gets sports seats upholstered in a combination of leather and Alcantara with Abarth branding, its sports steering wheel has a red leather 12 o-clock marker, more synthetic suede is applied to the dash, while the pedals are finished in aluminium.

To date, the Abarth 124 Spider has only been shown wearing the sporty white with satin black colour scheme, highlighted by red flashes and it is not known if the model will be offered in other themes locally.

With 125kW on tap, the 124 Spider is more powerful than the highest-performance Mazda MX-5, which shares the Abarth’s chassis and some common components.

Rumours speculate that the first 124 Spider could be followed by a more powerful version, while other reports say a coupe version is in the works, but the Italian car-maker is yet to confirm any additional variants.

Pricing and full detailed specifications, along with an available options list is expected when the Abarth arrives on red dirt next month.

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