This is a closest we’ll get to a correct Fiat 124 Coupe
At one time, it was suggested Fiat would enhance a 124 Spider operation with a hard-top coupe version. Plans were eventually shelved, though someone within a association clearly favourite a idea: accommodate a Abarth 124 GT, a prohibited chronicle of a 124 Spider, wearing a new carbonfibre roof.
Don’t get too excited. The roof isn’t entirely built in. Curiously, a strange soft-top stays underneath a behind deck, and we can indeed unclip a carbonfibre lid and use it with a fully-functioning soft-top if we so wish. And nonetheless it’s carbonfibre, a lid weighs 16kg so a GT is indeed heavier than a customary soft-top.
Abarth 124 GT
Price: £33,000 (est)
Engine: 4 cyls, 1368cc, turbo petrol
Power: 168bhp during 5500rpm
Torque: 184lb ft during 2500rpm
Gearbox: 6-spd manual
Kerb weight: 1060kg
Top speed: 143mph
Fuel economy: 44.1mpg
CO2 emission: 148g/km
It is, however, entirely lined, with a exhilarated behind window, and a cold new demeanour it gives a automobile harks behind to classical Abarth Group 4 convene cars of a 1970s. Lightweight OZ Racing amalgamate wheels serve this image, as does a Heritage container option, that gives a matt finish to a carp and bootlid.
On paper, a turbo engine has no some-more energy than a unchanging 168bhp Abarth 124, nonetheless it’s still a prominence on a road. The 1.4-litre is surprisingly discerning in real-world use, and a turbo’s lift is ever-accessible, permitting we to play around with a splendidly offset chassis.
Abarth’s set it adult to be firmer than a Mazda MX-5 it’s subsequent from, so it corners with reduction roll. Maybe it could have taken even some-more tardy out of things, though generally, it’s acceptable and responsive, even if we can’t feel any disproportion in altogether acerbity from carrying a hard-top roof propitious (neither, frankly, can a car’s engineers).
What unequivocally dominates a pushing knowledge is a standard-fit Record Monza exhaust, a magnificently interesting complement that gurgles and blares roughly constantly. It’ll be over a tip for some, though a charismatic, roughly thuggish inlet unequivocally suits this car. And a somewhat improved approach a carbonfibre roof deals with breeze sound allows we to suffer it on a pierce even during an indicated 149mph on a German autobahn.
There’s a ‘but’ coming. The price. We don’t nonetheless know accurately what it will cost in a UK, though in Germany, it’s carrying a 10 per cent reward over a customary car. Which is already pricier than, say, a Mazda MX-5 RF, that has a possess imagination hard-top roof and, arguably, a purer pushing experience. 10 per cent equals a probable £33,000 cost for a GT in a UK. That’s a lot.
But a really fact it is reduction pristine and some-more ardent than a Mazda competence nonetheless save it. There’s a likeability to a celebrity that, we reckon, will attract a name few enthusiasts who tumble for a charming nature. It’s not a bona fide hard-top 124. But we maybe like it even some-more as a result.