Fiat Chrysler Automobiles announces the arrival of the all new Abarth 124 spider to local showrooms from December 2016. The Abarth 124 Spider is targeted at a new generation of enthusiasts with its performance and technical DNA. The model combines the authentic roadster experience packed with thrills, technology and safety, with a touch of unmistakable Italian design.
Designed for thrills and performance, the Abarth 124 spider has all the qualities needed to satisfy even the most difficult-to-please drivers. Developed with the Abarth Racing team, the car perfectly embodies the brand’s values of performance, artisan craft and technical excellence. This is a car designed to put a smile back on the faces of those lucky enough to drive it. Capitalising on the lessons learnt from the Abarth racing team, the obsession for lightness drove the brand to slim down every single unnecessary gram from the car.
The weight is concentrated between the axles and the engine is installed behind the front axle to guarantee optimal agility and superior driving feel. Sophisticated mechanics and special materials have been used to contain the weight to just 1,060 kg, which results in a best-in-category weight-to-power ratio. Furthermore, the optimal weight distribution guarantees excellent feedback and agility.
Under the bonnet is a powerful, ultra-reliable 1.4 litre four-cylinder turbocharged engine with MultiAir technology. It delivers 125 kW (that is about 91 kW per litre) and 250 Nm of torque: it has a top speed of 232 km/h and accelerates from 0 to 100 km/h in 6.8 seconds. The engine sound is a fundamental element of all Abarth cars, and standard equipment includes the Record Monza exhaust with dual mode system capable of modifying the path of the exhaust gas according to the engine speed and generattes a satisfying, deep sound.
The Abarth 124 Spider is available with a six-speed manual transmission.
Supercar mechanics and suspension layout.
The suspension of the 124 spider features double wishbone suspension on the front and a five-arm multi-link on the rear. The set-up is calibrated specifically to increase stability in corners and for compression braking. Steering feedback is optimised by adopting a specific sports calibration of the power steering system.
The Abarth dynamic set-up means that rear-wheel traction can be fully exploited to achieve the best driving pleasure. Furthermore, the Abarth by Bilstein shock absorbers, the specifically calibrated springs and the oversized anti-roll bars ensure optimal handling and driving accuracy.
For exceptional dynamism, the Abarth 124 spider fits a standard mechanical self-locking differential which secures drive and traction in the most critical situations and peerless dynamic performance.
Unadulterated driving feeling.
The Abarth 124 spider features state-of-the-art active safety electronic devices. To guarantee the typical feeling of a racing car on the track at all times, the electronics can be switched off by the driver to enable perfect mechanical balance and linear response from the engine, genuine trademarks of an authentic rear-wheel-drive sports car.
The electronic controls are integrated in the Drive Mode Selector, which makes it possible to select the two different performance settings by means of a lever on the central tunnel: “Normal” and “Sport”. The first is designed for everyday driving, the second is optimised for sporty driving. The system can intervene on multiple parameters: maximum delivered torque, accelerator pedal response, power steering operation level, stability and traction control threshold (if they are not switched off for race track driving), exhaust sound by managing the engine while shifting.
Design true to the Abarth DNA.
The design of the Abarth 124 spider reflects its outstanding mechanical layout (this being a key feature for achieving perfect proportions on a sports car): the stretched bonnet reasserts the importance of the engine and the power of the car, the short overhangs enhance agility and the passenger compartment close to the rear axle means that the driver can truly feel the road.
The passenger compartment/bonnet ratio is comparable to that of a racing car. A horizontal line rises, stretches back and joins with the line near the rear light cluster; an unmistakable reference to the classic 124 spider.
Design was developed with a focus on performance: the large air intake on the front bumper and the rear aerodynamic extractor were fine-tuned in the wind tunnel, together with the rear spoiler and the windscreen for optimising air flow.
The finish of the 17” alloy wheel rims, the windscreen surround and the roll bars are “Forgiato Grey”, a colour selected to underline the bold, technical inclination of the car.
The original lines of the front end together with the front hexagonal grille contribute to reasserting the car’s bold personality. The bonnet humps suggest the longitudinal position of the engine: this is a direct reference to the original 124 spider. The exclusive LED headlights and rear lights add expressiveness to the car, both during the day and at night. An important detail are the rear light cluster inserts in matching body colour which form a luminous ring-shaped surface.
The rear end of the Abarth 124 spider is characterised by two elements: the swallow-tail section rear wings and the horizontal rear lights which pick up particular features of the car’s predecessor. The shape of the rear bumpers with the upper surface jutting into the boot lid conveys a characteristic V-shape to the back of the car.
The car is available in five colours: two pastel, “Turini 1975 White” and “Costa Brava 1972 Red”, and three metallic, “Isola d’Elba 1974 Blue”, “Portogallo 1974 Grey” and “San Marino 1972 Black”. The colours are a homage to the prestigious rally wins of Abarth also in their names.
The Abarth 124 spider dashboard features a three-gauge instrument panel, with the large red tachometer arranged in central position, a speedometer on the right and a display on the left allowing the driver to monitor all key driving information at a glance.
The overall focus is aimed at guaranteeing perfect ergonomics. Leather seats are supportive and very comfortable to keep the driver in the ideal position as low as possible. Furthermore, the controls are perfectly in line with the sporty set-up of the car: the position of the aluminium pedals, the vertical steering wheel and the short gear stick ensure a fully enthralling driving experience.
Comfort is guaranteed by standard heated seats and the excellent soundproofing afforded by the noise deadening windscreen, rear window and double-layer top. The latter is designed to be opened and closed with one hand from the driver’s seat in a few seconds. Once folded behind the seats it does not occupy space in the boot.
Standard equipment includes climate control system, stereo with four speakers, mp3 player, USB and AUX ports, cruise control, adjustable and electrically folded exterior rear view mirrors.
Other standard equipment is the Sound Plus pack with an integrated Infotainment system that can be operated using an ergonomic, user-friendly knob on the central tunnel. It includes 7-inch colour touchscreen, two USB ports, an AUX port and Bluetooth connection features. It is combined with a Bose sound system with nine speakers, four of which are built into the head restraints.
The Abarth 124 Spider also features a keyless start system.
Active and passive safety.
The Abarth 124 spider is decked out with a host of state-of-the-art active and passive safety devices. In addition to ABS, standard equipment includes EBD, for adjusting front and rear axle brake force distribution so as to optimise braking distances and guarantee control in all load conditions of the car. Also standard is ESC, for optimal control in all driving conditions, in particular in critical situations, in the presence of poor road surfaces.
The ESC applies selective braking and acts on the accelerator to guide the car back on line if a difference between the driver’s action on the steering wheel and trajectory is detected. All these devices can be completely deactivated for driving on the race track allowing the driver to exploit the outstanding balance and dynamic features of the Abarth 124 spider to the max and enjoy an unadulterated and direct driving feeling.
The three-point seat belts fit Constant-Force Retractors (CFR) to control the degree of force applied by the belt and then gradually release it in a controlled manner. The Visibility Plus pack includes full-LED self-levelling adaptive headlights with automatic orientation to guarantee the best driving comfort also in poor visibility conditions. These are combined with rain sensor, dusk sensor and parking sensors.
The Abarth 124 spider is fitted with an active bonnet system to comply with the pedestrian collision safety standards and has made it possible to avoid changes that would have increased the overall weight of the car and damaged its balance. With sensors on the crossmembers and two small pyrotechnic devices positioned in the engine compartment, the system detects a collision against a pedestrian and deploys in a few milliseconds to create a safe space between bonnet and engine and thus attenuate the consequences of the impact.
Return to racing roots.
To continue the long legacy of rallying success of the brand from the 1970’s and 80’s, the Abarth 124 Rally has been developed to compete in the gruelling and exciting Italian and International Rally Championship in the Group R-GT.
With it’s 300Hp 1.8l engine, the Abarth 124 Rally is an adulterated concentrate of technology and performance, the result of the experience of the Abarth Racing Team to bring the brand with the scorpion badge back onto the most glorious and challenging rally courses, from special stages where the asphalt is hotter to those made treacherous by the slippery ice.
The Abarth 124 Spider will be available immediately from Abarth dealerships countrywide, retails for R649,900.00, and comes standard with a three year 100,000km warranty and maintenance plan.
Metallic paint is the only option available at R4,500.00.
Abarth is a racing and road car maker founded by Italo-Austrian Carlo Abarth in 1949.
The performance brand of Fiat originally built exhaust systems for vehicles and the now-famous association with Fiat began in 1952 when the Abarth 1500 Biposto was built on Fiat mechanicals.
Abarth vehicles were renowned for their high-performance and power whilst being small and agile. Carlo Abarth’s performance modified cars achieved huge success in competitions and took many records in the process. In the 1950s and 1960s, the Abarth brand continuously made a name for itself in the public eye as the synonym for sport, tuning and performance, changing the sports car world.
Today the Abarth brand still maintains its unique DNA, and represents performance, great driving pleasure and sporty appeal. By and large Abarth vehicles are still hand built in Italy.
Apart from the road vehicles based on the Fiat 500 and 500C platforms and now the 124 Spider, Abarth also manufactures vehicles for the one-make Trofeo series that competes in Europe, is an engine supplier to the Formula 4 racing series for the Italian and German markets and maintains an ongoing partnership with Team Movistar Yamaha in the MotoGP series.