2020 Fiat 124 Abarth Adds '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.
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!
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