While Fiat Chrysler Automobiles [NYSE:FCAU] has ruled out launching a dedicated sports car under its Abarth performance brand, we’ll still see a sports car wearing the famous Abarth scorpion logo in the not too distant future. That sports car will be the upcoming Fiat model based on the bones of the fourth-generation Mazda MX-5 Miata, a model set to revive the 124 Spider name. The information was confirmed by senior FCA executive Alfredo Altavilla.
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“You like performance? There will be an Abarth version,” Altavilla told Auto Express when asked about the possibility of an Abarth-tuned version of the Fiat 124 Spider. He added that there will be two versions of the car: a “comfortable” model and more “extreme” Abarth.
Despite being based on the MX-5 platform, the Fiat 124 Spider will have unique running gear. The comfortable model is likely to run the familiar turbocharged 1.4-liter four-cylinder engine found in the Fiat 500. The Abarth model, meanwhile, may end up adopting the turbocharged 1.75-liter four-cylinder engine found in the Alfa Romeo 4C. The engine has 237 horsepower on tap and will soon be without a home, as Alfa has confirmed the 4C will be phased out in the coming years.
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The Fiat 124 Spider is set to be revealed later this year, possibly at September’s 2015 Frankfurt Auto Show, and should be in local showrooms sometime during 2016. Expect the Abarth version to follow in 2017. Before then, a new version of the Fiat 500 Abarth based on the recently updated 500 will be launched, and Altavilla has also hinted at a third, as-yet-unconfirmed Abarth-prepped car.