This carbonfibre-clad version of the Abarth 124 Spider looks the part, but does its detachable hardtop make much of a difference?
This GT is the latest version of the lively little Abarth 124 Spider, which itself is the hot sibling of the Fiat 124 Spider.But before you get too excited, know that the headline act is simply a new carbonfibre roof. In fact, the biggest news here is that it’s almost certain this car arrives in lieu of the proper 124 Coupé that was once heavily mooted. The GT also gets a set of lightweight OZ Racing wheels that save 4kg in unsprung mass at each corner, and elsewhere you can have carbonfibre for the door mirror casings and front bumper.The roof itself weighs only 16kg, so you’d expect this car to exhibit a small but useful advantage over its regular sibling at the scales. Curiously – usefully, Abarth claims – this isn’t the case, because not only does the standard roof mechanism continue to lurk beneath the rear decking, but so does the fabric. It’s fully functional, meaning this car has two roofs.It also means the carbonfibre-topped GT is slightly heavier than the standard car, at nearly 1080kg. You do, however, get a good-looking feature evocative of the old blacktopped Group 4 rally cars that stormed Monte Carlo and the Acropolis during the early 1970s.Under the skin, there are no changes. The driveline is identical, meaning the same 1.4-litre Multiair Turbo engine develops the same 168bhp and 184lb ft. There’s a mechanical limited-slip differential in the rear axle with double wishbones at the front and a multi-link rear, à la the Mazda MX-5, with which the 124 Spider shares a platform.There’s also the opportunity to option the Visibility and no-cost Heritage packs. The former brings about more mundane options such as automatic windscreen wipers and headlights, while the latter will divide opinion with a matt black bootlid and bonnet. …read more