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This is the Abarth 124 Spider

Geneva Motor Show 2016: An Abarth version of the forthcoming 124 Spider roadster has arrived, combining what is said to be ‘an authentic roadster experience’ with Italian design.

The Abarth 124 Spider is based on the Fiat 124 Spider, which is basically an Mazda MX-5 with Fiat badges on. Both manufacturers are working together as a part of a joint venture, hence both cars share the same chassis, wheelbase and cockpit button layout.

Abarth has put its sporty stamp on the vehicle, mind you, including the addition of a limited-slip differential, Bilstein dampers, stiffened anti-roll bars and a beefier Brembo brake system.

The Abarth 124 roadster also features a new front bumper with a larger air intake, new rear bumper with an aerodynamic extractor, new rear spoiler and 17-inch alloy wheels finished in Forgiato Grey. The interior, meanwhile, gets a three-gauge instrument panel.

Turning the rear wheels is a 1.4-litre MultiAir Turbo engine, which outputs 170hp and 250Nm of torque. 0-62mph takes 6.8 seconds, making it half a second faster than the MX-5 2.0-litre and 1.5 seconds quicker than the 1.5-litre. Top speed is 142mph.

That increased performance is down to having more horsepower, but also the fact the Abarth 124 Spider weighs 1,060kg, giving it 6.2hp per kilogram – a figure claims is ‘unrivalled’ in its class. It also retains the same 50:50 weight distribution and low centre of gravity.

Helping keep the roadster, wind in your hair experience as pure as possible is a six-speed ‘Sequenziale Sportivo’ gearbox, which is said to offer ‘quick and accurate’ shifting via a short-throw lever. Paddles behind the steering wheel can also be used to shift if you go for the automatic.

To keep you safe, Abarth has included ABS, EBD and ESC control systems but it is possible to turn them all off for a purer experience.

Standard equipment on the Abarth includes a manual climate control system, MP3 player and USB port, cruise control, electrically adjustable and foldable door mirrors and a four-speaker stereo system. Navigation is optional. Just choose between the various paintjobs and off you go.

The Abarth costs €40,000, which works out at £28,500 for UK customers, and will be available from September, 2016.

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