Abarth 124 GT review: new hard-top roadster driven

A new Abarth?

You know how Abarth’s exhilarated adult Fiat 500 seems to get a monthly special edition? That time competence have dawned for a Abarth 124 Spider, too. This is a 124 GT, and there are some pivotal changes afoot.

The biggest change you’ll have expected spotted: it now comes with a tough top. It’s a bit of a loyalty to a Abarth 124 Rally of a 1970s. While that automobile came with a bound roof, a 124 GT’s is removable.

It’s not a limited-run special, and there’s no central cost yet, yet design a 10 per cent reward over a soft-top Abarth 124. So around £33,000 seems likely.

Tell me about the roof.

There’s no pretence folding hard-top things here: it’s one, vast item, with a vast wraparound behind shade that boosts visibility. The unchanging soothing tip lurks underneath in box it rains while you’re out. Yep, you’ll need somewhere to store a roof too. Worth temperament in mind if we park your automobile on the street…

Made of carbonfibre, a roof weighs 16kg. So it’ll be a bit unwieldy to get on and off, and with a accumulation of screws to undo, a teenager rigmarole as well. The weight benefit is counteracted by another of a 124 GT’s changes: it gets new lightweight 17in amalgamate wheels, that save around 4kg a corner.

That means a 124 Spider’s claimed 1,060kg kerb weight carries over, yet we can design a centre of sobriety to have risen. Weight placement stays a ideal 50/50 front/rear.

Mind, once we mislay a roof you’ll unexpected have a purist’s 124 that’s 16kg lighter than normal and with a centre of sobriety forsaken behind down. The GT has no cessation changes; Abarth claims a slight alleviation in torsional acerbity with a roof in place, yet doesn’t yield actual figures.

No engine changes?

Nope. But it’s still some-more than sprightly enough. It uses a 168bhp 1.4-litre turbo 4 from a 124 Spider, and with a same claimed weight, offers an matching 6.8sec 0-62mph time and 144mph tip speed. You can design CO2 and mpg to be unchanged, too.

It still sounds outrageous, interjection to a customary ‘Record Monza’ sports exhaust. But this time a shouty persona is many clear to those outside. The Abarth 124 has always been an definitely raucous-sounding car, yet with a tough tip in place, it’s a bit pale inside. A bit like wearing a quite vast span of headphones on a sight and numbing a hullabaloo around you.

The finish outcome is that it feels a bit some-more grown up. Less shouty in traffic, reduction droney on a motorway, with usually a bit of breeze whistle during motorway speeds to give divided a fact a roof isn’t permanently fixed.

More grown adult to drive, too?

You’d be a some-more shrewd – or supportive – chairman than me to be means to interpret any genuine framework differences. The steering is maybe a tiny lighter, by trait of those lighter wheels, yet even carrying driven a normal Abarth 124 soft-top back-to-back with a 124 GT, there’s subsequent to no disproportion between the two.

So all a 124’s good pieces – a mischievous rear-drive handling, fanciful primer gearshift and thumping acceleration – remain. It’s joyously frolicsome to expostulate when you’re in a mood, egged on by the bright red rev counter, discerning steering and a underlying gurgle of exhaust.

It stays a unbending car, and a bit intractable over unequivocally rough roads. So while there’s some-more auditory oppulance with that tough tip in place, a float hasn’t come over all soothing to accompany the hush. 

Its cost sounds big. Worth a disproportion over standard?

It all depends. Abarth wasn’t penetrating for us to have a go during holding a roof off, and a volume of screws that need undoing – and a nooks and crannies a integrate of them are in – advise we won’t be flipping a tough tip on and off on a whim. You’ll substantially mislay it when a clocks go brazen in open and forget about it until a clocks go behind and autumn’s environment in. Providing you’ve got somewhere to store it, that is.

There are other changes to clear a cost, mind. There’s a posh Bose stereo and we can have Abarth’s rally-inspired birthright colour schemes for free. There’s a tiny matter of how most cooler it looks with a tough top, too. Far some-more suggestive of Abarth convene cars past and present.

Which rather creates us consider it would be some-more convincing with a bit of additional energy to accompany a other changes. We asked an Abarth insider if it had been considered, and they suggested a 187bhp hexed by a fruitiest 500s (known as Abarth 695s) wouldn’t be a vast adequate leap, and that something closer to 200bhp competence be in growth for future 124s.

Abarth’s gusto for a special book suggests this 124 GT is substantially a initial step on a approach there. It’s as fun (and flawed) as ever, only make certain you’ve got somewhere to put the roof…

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