Rumors are emanating from Fiat that there will be an Abarth version of the new 124 Spider and the image above makes us think the rumors are firmly based in reality. Without giving specifics, head of the performance-oriented sub-brand, Paolo Gagliardo, has stated Abarth has goals of more than doubling its worldwide dealership network and will add a new model to the lineup. Currently the company sells vehicles in 300 of Fiat’s dealerships with plans to increase that number to 750. This year, Abarth is projected to have a 50 percent increase in sales of last year. Fabrizio Simoni, head of marketing for Abarth, has also stated the brand wants to add a version of the 124 but did not give a timeline. Simoni also stated a version of the subcompact Fiat 500X is also a possibility.
Reports of an Abarth 124 Spider spotted testing are also adding fuel to the fire. No word from the company yet on what might power the car, but a tuned variant of the 1.4L turbo four from the stock 124 is a likely candidate. Currently, the engine we’ll get in the U.S. puts out 160 hp and 184 lb-ft of torque, which makes us think there’s opportunity to squeeze out some more ponies.
Besides the fact that Abarth models add a nice premium over their standard counterparts, the company is also motivated to produce a version of the 124 so it can participate in a new rear-wheel-drive category in the World Rally Championship. Again, these are all rumors at this point but we have strong reason to believe they’re true. On the other hand, it may be that we love small, rear-wheel-drive cars so much that we want to believe the hype. In either case, we still have the 2017 Fiat 124 Spider that can be seen in the video below to look forward to.