CarAdvice believes that the launch of the Mazda MX-5-based Fiat 124 Spider next year will be followed by a performance version of the two-seat roadster with a more powerful engine, retuned suspension and other assorted Abarth enhancements.
Of late, the iconic Abarth scorpion badge has spent all of its time on the tiny 500, but the introduction of an entirely new model will see the performance brand expand its reach further still.
Speaking to CarAdvice at the local launch of the new Fiat 500X, the brand’s local boss, Pat Dougherty, hinted at the Abarth version of the 124 Spider for our market.
“I’ve said before that this is just the start of the 124 story. There’s a vehicle we have our eye on, and we think you’ll absolutely love it” Dougherty told CarAdvice.
The Fiat 124 Spider Abarth will most likely be powered by the same 1.4-litre turbocharged four-cylinder engine as that found in the normal 124, likely with a larger turbo and other internal parts modified for better performance and a higher top-speed.
As with other Abarth vehicles, the 124 Spider versions will also gain unique suspension, brakes and other performance treatments.
It’s likely that the high-performance version of the roadster will hit our shores some time in 2017 with pricing still a long way off from confirmation.
The Fiat 124 Spider is being built alongside the MX-5 at Mazda’s factory in Japan, making it the only Australia-bound Fiat that is built outside of Europe.
The car will share it platform and some components with the MX-5, yet sport a different engine and gearbox. All external panels and most of the interior is also unique to the Italian brand.
It is possible that Mazda will build the Abarth-specified 124 Spider models, but we can likely expect all development work to be carried out by Abarth directly.
MORE: All Fiat 124 Spider news