2019 Fiat 124 Spider Abarth is the hottest Italian take on a Japanese icon
[SOUND] If you're going to build a small roadster, you're partnering up a Mazda to use the balanced and MX five Miata isn't a bad idea at all.
And that's exactly what Fiat has done to bring us this, the 124 spider.
And this one here is the Abarth, which is the most performance-oriented one in the lineup.
On the outside, the Fiat is a fair bit different than the Masda, with its own sheet metal that's flatter, and five and a half inches longer overall.
Stallion Inspiration borrows from the original 124, with cues like the inside headlights, grill, hood ripples, and side character lines.
The Abarth strikes a more aggressive stance with specific fishes gun-metal accents and 17 inch gun metal wheels overall I do like the more mature appearance but i like the Mazda better the visual differences are less apparent when you head into the interior minus different gauges door panels small trim pieces and badges hits a Miata interior.
Here, but it is quieter when rolling around town when the top is up because it's got an acoustic windshield, thicker rear glass and more sound insulation.
As for tech, it's also Mazda stuff, which is not the worst thing in the world.
In the 124 it's called Fiat Connect with a seven-inch touchscreen, Bose audio, navigation, and satellite radio.
It's [INAUDIBLE] system that's a little slow to switch between menus and unfortunately, it can't run Apple CarPlay or Android Auto.
And then for safety blindspot monitoring rear cross traffic alert and rear parking sensors can be had as options.
[SOUND] Where the 124 deviates a lot from the Miata is in the engine compartment.
Instead of monsters two litre naturally aspirated for with 181 horsepower In 151 pound feet of torque, power comes from Fiat's 1.4 litre turbo four with 164 horses 184 pound feet and verbally exhaust note, put it in sport mode and peak torque is available from 2500 rpm and stay strong through the high 5000s before tapering off [SOUND]
So yeah, good mid range grunt that around a trace like Western Michigan's GingerMan Raceway is great to get down straights and out of corners with a slick shifting six speed manual transmission and perfectly placed peddles for rev matching.
The engine's main problem is that it's got noticable turbo lag going.
That on the street and stop and go situations isn't idea, not much happens when you roll away from a stop and then boom, you got power.
It is efficient though, returning an EPA estimated 26 miles per gallon in the city and 35 miles per gallon on the highway.
Ride and handling on the [UNKNOWN] on the street is complaint enough on the Bill Stein And upgraded springs impacts are felt but it isn't crashing, making it a fine cruiser for normal comedians and road trips.
Then when you drive it hard, it's dirty, but not quite as dirty as the Miata, partly because it weighs 130 pounds more than the monster.
Turn four corners is muted ever so slightly You feel the weight load up on the outside tire and then it just goes wild things happen more rapidly in the master.
Few gentleman's high speed transitions and turns eight and nine.
weight transfer is again more pronounced.
And then when it takes a set, there's good grip from the Bridgestone tire.
Now I'm not saying that the Fiat is bad, it's just got a slightly less hyperactive personality than the Mazda.
But the thing is that it's still a handler with the balance chassis that you can have a lot of fun with be it on a back road or on a track hanging tight around turns or sideways with the torque engine.
The 2019 Fiat 124 Spider Abarth starts at about $31,000 with destination keeping in the ballpark with its Mazda relative.
With options though, this car here punches in at a little over $35,000.
Still, not too bad.
What would I do?
I like snappier reflexes, more linear power delivery, and the look of the Mazda more.
So that's my car.
But for someone who prefers a bit tamer ride, I totally understand them getting a Fiat.