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Video: Abarth 124 Spider R-GT has a thirst for going sideways

Who says rally cars are best served in an all-wheel drive flavour? The Abarth 124 Spider is out to prove otherwise by going sideways. A lot.

The car in the video is the 124 Spider R-GT, which is a rally version of the standard Abarth 124 Spider. It was unveiled at the Geneva Motor Show and now we are able to see it in action for one of the first times as it blasts along the roads of Sanremo, Italy.

Unlike the 124 Abarth, which gets 170hp from its 1.4-litre MultiAir Turbo engine, the Abarth Spider R-GT uses a 1.8-litre turbo good for 296bhp. In a car that weighs less than a bag of crisps and maintains the rear-wheel drive theme, it is no wonder the rear wheels spin helplessly on demand.

Other modifications for the Abarth Spider R-GT include pushing the engine back behind the rear axle, removing unnecessary weight, hardening of the suspension to improve cornering and the addition of a fixed roof and roll cage. A seven-speed sequential gearbox also features.

The Abarth Spider R-GT will do battle in the 2017 FIA R-GT rally class, which means fellow competitors will include Porsche 911s, Ferrari 458s and other supercars. Not an easy one, then.

Though possibly not the most efficient way to corner, the sideways action sure as hell makes the Abarth 124 Spider R-GT bags of fun to watch, while the car itself would be the ultimate remedy to any criticism the Mazda MX-5, of which it shares the same platform with, is underpowered.

Shame it would cost around €150,000 to buy, assuming Abarth would even entertain the idea. Probably best to stick to the slower Abarth 124 Spider, which costs from £29,565 ─ £10,020 more than Fiat 124.

Video: First test of Abarth 124 R-GT


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