2020 Fiat 124 Abarth Adds 'Scorpion Sting' Graphics Package; Any Takers?

Matt Posky
by Matt Posky
2020 fiat 124 abarth adds 8216 scorpion sting graphics package any takers

Fiat has introduced a new graphics package for the 124 Spider, yet it’s difficult to envision who this option is for. That’s especially true considering the package, intended to celebrate the 70th anniversary of Abarth and the 120th anniversary of Fiat, is exclusive to top-trimmed models.

We’re not even sure how much time FCA’s Miata-based roadster even has left in the country and don’t imagine a scorpion-themed graphics pack is going to change that. That’s a shame too, because the 124 remains a fun little car.

As this author has always been under the impression that roadsters were designed help drivers commune with nature, the Spider’s relaxed demeanor — at least in relation to the Mazda MX-5 — seemed like a positive attribute. While the Miata is clearly the car you’d want to take to a track, the 124 is noticeably quieter and more comfortable. There’s even pleasure to be found in the Fiat’s noteworthy turbo lag, assuming you’re somewhat nostalgic for early Nineties cars with forced induction.

If you aren’t, then you’ll have to get your kicks elsewhere or spend some time learning how to interact with the machine. The 124 Spider is a nimble auto with 160 horses (164 hp in the Abarth) all rearing for a good time, you just need to know where on the rev range to stroke them. But the Mazda has the stronger racing pedigree and a broader fan base in the United States, helping to keep MX-5 sales higher than Fiat could ever dream of. While the gap is much closer in Europe, Miata sales typically average twice what the Spider can muster.

Fiat hopes to make up the difference in options. The Scorpion Sting Appearance Group adds $395 to the Abarth’s MSRP while providing customers with a Rosso-red scorpion decal on the hood and stripes down the side.

FCA suggests the droptop might also pair well with the Record Monza exhaust ($995) or Abarth Veleno Appearance Group ($495), that adds red mirror caps, lower fascia lip, floor mats, and frontal tow hook. There are also “Double Rally” and “Retro” stripe options ($295) if you want to go add some flare to your standard 124.

However, the car’s role as the MX-5’s heavier, chillaxed cousin makes a lot of these appearance upgrades feel unnecessary. Big graphic packs feel like a Dodge thing, not something intended for a small-engined, Italian roadster that’s actually from Japan. While ties to Abarth makes the giant scorpion logo forgivable, it’s going to be for niche tastes — likely resulting in a low take rate. While the 500 Abarth managed to get away with it, we would be surprised if you ever saw the Sting graphics in the wild.

The 2020 124 Spider Classica starts at $25,390, with FCA stipulating that the Abarth will come in “under $30,000.” For the extra dough, Fiat upgrades the 1.4-liter turbo with a few extra ponies, gives the car some unique bodywork, adds a Bilstein sport suspension, mechanical limited-slip differential, front strut tower bar, Sport Mode selector, and a throaty sport-tuned chrome quad-tip exhaust system. A six-speed manual transmission is standard but Fiat offers an optional six-speed automatic.

[Image: FCA]

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  • Inside Looking Out Inside Looking Out on Sep 19, 2019

    Pontiac looks cooler.

  • Art Vandelay Art Vandelay on Sep 20, 2019

    I really, really want to like this because it looks great and likely sounds very nice. In my years of owning various Miatas however, not once did I think to myself "What this car really needs is less power and more weight" and no matter how good they have made it look and sound, that is what they have done here. The Abarth version of this car should have the Alfa 2.0T. Even had they saddled it with the DCT (There is of course a manual, we just don't get it in the USA) it would have been a legend, which I would own WITH the sticker package!

  • Jeff S In the EV market Tesla is not a niche player it is the major player. According to the latest data of the California-based vehicle valuation and automotive research company  Kelley Blue Book, Tesla has the lion’s share with 75 percent market share in  the electric vehicle market in the first three months of 2022.Tesla has dominated the electric vehicle market for years in the United States. The electric vehicles manufactured by Tesla accounted for 79 percent of the new electric vehicles registered in the United States in 2020 and 69,95 percent in 2021. The decrease in the market share in 2021 might be explained by backlogs and the global chip shortage, but the company is ramping up its sales and has already increased its market share to 75 percent in the first quarter of the year. According to Kelley Blue Book, the top 10 EVs sold in the US in the first quarter of 2022 are;[list=1][*]Tesla Model Y[/*][*]Tesla Model 3[/*][*]Ford Mustang Mach-E[/*][*]Tesla Model X[/*][*]Hyundai Ioniq 5[/*][*]Kia EV6[/*][*]Tesla Model S[/*][*]Nissan Leaf[/*][*]Kia Niro[/*][*]Audi e-Tron[/*][/list=1]Tesla has delivered 310,048 vehicles in the first quarter of 2022, another first-quarter record. The success of Tesla is proven once again as the company has three electric cars in the top 10 most selling electric vehicles in the United States, while no other manufacturer has even two different models on the list.Tesla leads all others, selling slightly over 936,000 units in 2021. This gave the company a market share of nearly 14%.Mar 30, 2022https://interestingengineering.com/transportation/tesla-ev-market-75-percent-market-share
  • Jeff S I did not know Plymouth had a full size van prior to the mini vans. I did know about the Plymouth pickups and the Trail Duster.
  • Arthur Dailey When I grew tired of the T-Bird trying to kill me by refusing to start at the most inconvenient times/places, I replaced it with a '79 fullsized Dodge (Sportsman) van. Similar to this but with a different grille and rectangular headlights. The 4 'captains' chairs in my van were pretty much identical to the ones in this van. Mine certainly was not as nicely finished inside. And it was a handful to drive in snow/ice. One thing that strikes me about this van is that although a conversion it does not seem to have the requisite dark tint on the windows.
  • Jeff S I am not a fan of Tesla and they were niche vehicles but it seems that they have become more common. I doubt if I get an EV that it would be a Tesla. The electrical grid will have to be expanded because people over the long run are not going to accept the excuse of the grid can't handle people charging their EVs.
  • AMcA The '70 Continentals and Town Cars may have been cousins to the standard body Fords and Mercurys, they didn't have to be disguised, because they had unique, unbelievably huge bodies of their own. Looking at the new 1970 interior, I'd say it was also a cost savings in sewing the seat. Button tufted panels like the 1969 interior had require a lot of sewing and tufting work. The 1970 interior is mostly surface sewing on a single sheet of upholstery instead of laboriously assembled smaller pieces. FINALLY: do I remember correctly that the shag carpet shown under these cars was a Photoshop? They didn't really go so peak '70s as to photograph cars on shag carpets, did they?