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Future models - Abarth - 124 - Spider

Sharp value for Abarth’s 124 Spider

Arachnophobia: The Scoripion-badged 124 Spider will arrive in Down Under later this year powered by a 1.4-litre turbocharged engine producing 125kW, able to propel the roadster from zero to 100km/h in 6.8 seconds.

Australians could get well-priced Abarth 124 Spider as UK details are revealed

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Abarth logo10 Jun 2016

By TUNG NGUYEN

WHILE the UK-spec Abarth 124 Spider is priced nearly £6300 ($A12,279) more than its Mazda MX-5 donor car, GoAuto has learned the Australian price disparity will be much smaller, with the Scorpion-badged roadster expected to arrive in showrooms with a circa-$45,000 before on-roads sticker price.

Although exact pricing and specification has yet to be confirmed, the pricing puts the entry-level 127kW/250Nm Italian-styled convertible just $5000 away from the range-topping $39,550 (plus costs) 118kW/200Nm 2.0-litre MX-5 GT automatic.

As reported by GoAuto last month, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) Australia senior manager of product planning and strategy Alan Swanson said the Abarth 124 Spider would be positioned clearly away from its Japanese counterpart.

“Obviously our focus on bringing a more performance-orientated version of the car is something that maybe differentiates us very slightly from what’s being done with the vehicle on the same platform,” he said.

“There’s very big potential with that car and moving it away from the rest of that competitive environment.”

A mid-$40,000 pricetag would make the Abarth 124 Spider the only European-branded two-seat, rear-drive convertible in that price bracket – BMW’s Z4 and Mercedes-Benz’ SLK both starting at over $80,000 – while also positioning it away from entry-level Japanese sportscars including the Toyota 86 ($29,990) and Mazda MX-5 ($31,990) with which it shares a platform.

To justify the price, Abarth will offer the Record Monza exhaust as an option in Australian showrooms, which is standard in overseas models.

Australian-spec versions will still be powered by a 1.4-litre MultiAir turbocharged four-cylinder engine and feature a completely redesigned front end, rear and interior styling compared with its Mazda MX-5 sister car.

As GoAuto has reported, FCA Australia will not offer the 119kW/250Nm Fiat-badged 124 Spider Down Under, with the Abarth the only Italian-branded option for buyers.

Power will be sent to the rear wheels through either a six-speed manual gearbox or automatic Sequenziale Sportivo transmission with steering wheel mounted paddle shifters via a mechanical self-locking differential.

The Abarth is able to propel itself from zero to 100km/h in 6.8 seconds and hit a top speed of 232km/h, while also getting stiffer anti-roll bars, Bilistein dampers, 17-inch alloy wheels and larger Brembo brakes to make the most of its low 1060kg kerb weight and perfect 50:50 weight distribution.

To further differentiate the Abarth 124 Spider, a matte-black bonnet and boot are installed to help reduce glare, red is used to highlight wing mirrors, brake callipers, the front splitter and seats, and special Scorpion badging is used throughout the interior and exterior.

Standard equipment will include air-conditioning, keyless entry and engine start, cruise control, electric folding door mirrors, a four-speaker sound system and an infotainment system with a 7.0-inch colour screen with digital radio, USB input and Bluetooth connectivity.

Options will likely include heated seats, satellite navigation and a premium nine-speaker Bose sound system with speakers in the headrests and a subwoofer.

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