LONDON, England – Meet Abarth’s 124 Spider – a model that could make it to South Africa should the branded subsidiary of Fiat ever make a firm appearance here.
Right-hand drive versions of the two-seater roadster are about to hit Fiat Chrysler showrooms in the UK with, the automaker says, prices starting at a little short of £30 000 (R645 00, June 2016) for the 1.4 T-Jet 126kW manual
“That,” according to Abarth, “represents outstanding value for money”.
The Italian automaker adds: “The 124 marks the return of the ‘spider’ badge (named after a 19th-centre folding-top carriage) and is the natural heir of the original model launched in 1972.
“The 2016 car incorporates performance, technology and iconic Italian style as the key factors of a very successful line-up.”
The cars are driven by a four-cylinder, 1.4-litre, MultiAir Turbo engine making 126kW/250Nm which can take it on to 230km/h after launching to 100km/h in 6.8sec.
Buyer’s choice for six-speed manual or Sequenziale Sportivo auto. The manual is said to have “quick and accurate shifting with a short-throw lever”; the auto has steering wheel-mounted paddle-shifters.
“Each car is tested and certified,” according to a media release, “by an Abarth technician who applies a metal plaque (AMG style) showing the sequential number of each car to certify the exclusiveness of the Abarth 124 spider.
“It’s a unique number for a unique customer.”
The roadster has a three-gauge instrument binnacle featuring a large central rev counter, a speedometer to its right and a data display to its left to monitor all key driving information at a glance.
Standard equipment includes auto aircon, cruise control, powered folding external mirrors and an infotainment system with a selector on the centre console to control a 19cm colour display, digital tuner, MP3 player, two USB ports, auxiliary input and a Bluetooth phone connection.
‘NEW CHAPTER IN ABARTH STORY’
The standard audio system has four speakers but Abarth offers a more expensive Bose system with nine speakers, including a pair in each head restraint. A sub-woofer will add to the cost.
Satnav is also an extra-cost item.
Gerry Southerington, Abarth brand manager in the UK, told The Corner in a media release: “The 124 Spider is a new car, a new chapter in the Abarth story. It’s what many of our customers have been waiting for and I’m confident we will welcome a new group of owners to the Abarth family.
“Great looks, stunning performance, and unique equipment will set the car apart from other roadsters.”