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The 2017 Abarth 124 Spider will hit Australia in October with a $41,990 starting price, the company has confirmed today, and a guaranteed drive-away price of $43,500 for the six-speed manual model.

The first 100 examples will also be sold as ‘launch editions’, adding contrasting bumper inserts, tow-hook covers and mirror caps, along with a “[x] of 100” build plate in the cockpit.

That price puts the turbocharged Abarth roadster within reach of buyers already considering the top 2.0-litre variants of the 124’s Japanese cousin, the Mazda MX-5.

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The MX-5 starts at $31,990 for the 96kW 1.5-litre engine, but opting for the more powerful 118kW 2.0 unit ups the price to $34,490. Go for the GT version and you’ll pay $39,550 plus on-roads.

Unique looks and quasi-Italian heritage aside, the 124 Spider’s greatest appeal is in its engine: Fiat’s 1.4-litre turbocharged MultiAir four-cylinder petrol engine, tuned by Abarth for 125kW at 5500rpm and 250Nm of torque from 2500rpm.

Abarth says that engine will propel the 1060kg 124 Spider to 100km/h in 6.8 seconds, compared to a close 7.1 seconds for the 118kW MX-5 and a more pedestrian 8.5 seconds for the 96kW model.

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Like the MX-5, the Abarth will be offered six-speed manual and automatic transmissions, the latter with paddle shifters ($43,990 plus on-roads).

As reported last week, the 124 Spider will feature an Abarth-specific Sport Mode to tweak engine mapping, transmission, electric power steering and dynamic stability control system for a more engaging driving experience.

A double-wishbone suspension layout works at the front, matched to a five-link setup at the rear. The suspension has been tuned by Abarth’s engineers for greater braking and cornering stability.

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Dampers are specialised ‘Abarth by Bilstein’ units, matched with stiffened anti-roll bars to provide both dynamism and comfort.

Like the MX-5, the 124 Spider is equipped with a limited-slip differential. Unlike the MX-5, it’s standard not only in the manual 124, but also the auto.

A full features list is still to come, although Fiat Chrysler Australia has confirmed the Abarth 124 Spider will feature 17-inch alloy wheels, and leather- and Alcantara-trimmed seats as standard.

A Monza exhaust will be offered as an optional extra, “for a truly earth-shattering sound”. (We suspect it won’t truly shatter the earth, but you just never know.)

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The 124 Spider goes on sale in Australia from October 7. Watch for full features and details to come closer to launch.

2017 Abarth 124 Spider pricing

Six-Speed Manual
Before on-road costs: $41,990
Drive-away: $43,500

Six-Speed Automatic
Before on-road costs: $43,990
Drive-away: $45,500

MORE: Fiat releases Oz performance specs for Abarth 124 Spider
MORE: Abarth 124 Spider revealed in Geneva

MORE: Fiat 124 Spider revealed
MORE: MX-5 news, reviews, pricing and specs




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