Fiat Abarth 124 Spider Review

The All New Abarth 124 spider sets a new benchmark.

Many petrol heads would see a light small car and think "Imagine if we worked the engine, put a turbo on it and a full race kit. This car would be awesome to drive". Well, so do the team at Abarth in Bologna, Italy.

They took the chassis of a Mazda Miata (MX-5 here in Australia), fitted it with a 1.4-litre four-cylinder multi aired turbocharged unit, with 125kw (170hp) and 250Nm, meaning it will do 0-100km/h in a around 6.8 seconds.

Whilst test driving the Spider, I didn't feel the power that the specs showed until I put it into "Sports" mode. Then is took off like a little rocket, more boost at lower revs and when you change gears the revs stay higher to hold speed.

Then came the Bilstein springs, Abarth shock absorbers and Brembo brake system. The car being quite light (and small) at a curb weight of 1,060kgs, so while the acceleration is fast, stopping is just as quick.

Cornering was very fun and remindered me when I was young driving around in go-karts. The six-speed gear box had a short shift and was smooth through the gears. The interior is user friendly, comfortable and covered in beautiful leather.


It has a quad exhaust system with a clean race sound, which was a nice touch, for me, I would like it a little louder as I love listening to the character of the engine whilst driving (especially with the top down).

I will add that this is not a family car nor a car for any shopping trips bigger than some groceries. The glovebox is between the seats, not in its usual spot (that is how small it is). I remember when I picked it up and my parnter said "Great, we can go pick some stuff up from Ikea!" Umm, no, sorry dear!

Overall the Fiat Abarth 124 Spider was a great car to drive and whip around Melbourne. Priced from $43,500 drive away, isn't too bad for price for a second fun weekend car.