Turbo Italian roadster sees the axe throughout 2020, following poor sales and a hazy future overseas.
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The Abarth 124 Spider has been cut from the brand's Australian line-up.

Fiat Chrysler Australia has confirmed it has axed the turbocharged Abarth roadster from the local range, a little over four years since it launched Down Under in late 2016.

The official confirmation comes around 12 months after the Abarth 124 Spider (and its lukewarm Fiat 124 Spider cousin) saw the axe in Europe in December 2019, its Italian maker not willing to upgrade the roadsters' 1.4-litre turbocharged four-cylinders to meet strict 'Euro 6d' emissions standards, for little return on the sales charts.

It's understood it was likely around a similar time that production for Australia concluded, with dealer sources recently telling CarAdvice new orders for the model ceased earlier this year, with most 124 Spiders sold in the second half of 2020 being existing examples already present in dealers' inventories.

Those hoping to snatch one of the last 124 Spiders sitting in the back of showrooms will be out of luck, with a handful of east-coast dealers telling CarAdvice all stock had been sold, despite persistent interest from a selection of loyal customers keen to snatch up a car out of the last batch.

However, said customers appear to be few and far between, given the less-than-stellar sales figures tallied up by the Abarth 124 Spider since its Australian introduction, particularly in comparison to its twin-under-the-skin, the popular Mazda MX-5.

The Italian roadster posted its best sales year in Australia in 2017 – its first full year on sale – with 375 examples reaching customers' driveways.

In the same period, Mazda sold nearly four times as many MX-5s, recording 1459 sales, while Toyota and Subaru combined shifted nearly 6.5 times as many 86 and BRZ sports coupes.

Abarth 124 Spider sales in Australia dropped to just 153 in 2018, before slipping to 101 in 2019 and a mere 57 over the first 11 months of 2020 (down 83.3 per cent) – though the lattermost sales figure was significantly affected by the end of active production for our market, plus the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

Pitched as a punchier Italian alternative to its Mazda MX-5 sibling, the Abarth 124 Spider differentiated itself from its Japanese twin primarily through unique exterior styling and a unique engine: a 1.4-litre turbocharged four-cylinder, developing 125kW of power and 250Nm of torque.

A less potent Fiat 124 Spider is (or was, in many nations' cases) offered in overseas markets, offering toned-down styling compared with its Abarth range-mate, and a 103kW/240Nm version of the 1.4-litre turbo-four.

When it launched, the Abarth was the most powerful version of the MX-5 platform on sale, outgunning the 118kW/200Nm, 2.0-litre naturally-aspirated 2016 MX-5. However, late 2018 saw the 2.0-litre mill in Mazda's popular roadster score a power boost, with its new 135kW/205Nm outputs overshadowing its Italian twin.

Prices for the Abarth kicked off from $41,990 before on-road costs when equipped with a manual gearbox, undercutting the MY21, $44,020 Mazda MX-5 Roadster GT.