Fresh from its world debut at the recent Geneva Motor Show, the Abarth version of Fiat’s new 124 Spider has just touched soil in the United States.

The car, which for our market is known as the 2017 Fiat 124 Spider Elaborazione Abarth, is on show this week at the 2016 New York Auto Show. The event is where Mazda is also showcasing the stunning MX-5 Miata RF. Both cars share most of their internals and are built at the same plant in Japan.

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Under the hood of the 124 Spider Elaborazione Abarth is Fiat’s familiar turbocharged 1.4-liter 4-cylinder engine. It matches the 160 horsepower and 184 pound-feet of torque of the stock 124 Spider and drives the rear wheels only (the global version received a 10-hp power boost). Buyers will have the choice of either a 6-speed manual or a 6-speed, paddle-shifted automatic.

Instead of upping the power, the engineers at Abarth focused on a creating a more responsive driving experience. To achieve this, they tuned the suspension for a sportier feel, added a limited-slip differential, and enhanced the exhaust system. We’re also told that the car gets a unique “Sport” mode that adjusts dynamic systems such as the engine, transmission (automatic only), electric power steering, and stability and traction control.

Along with the performance upgrades, there have been a few visual tweaks. There’s a more aggressive bumper at the front which leads into a blacked-out hood. The car also sports unique 17-inch aluminum wheels and a chrome-plated exhaust tip. As an option, Fiat will also offer a hand-painted hood stripe. Inside, leather trim, a unique instrument cluster, aluminum-accented sport pedals and a special gear shifter help to differentiate the Abarth model.

Some worthy options for the car are uprated Brembo brakes and Recaro sports seats.

The complete 2017 Fiat 124 Spider range will arrive in dealerships this summer. Pricing will be announced closer to the market launch.

For more from the New York Auto Show, head to our dedicated hub.


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