RE: Abarth 124 GT unveiled

Thursday 1st March

Abarth 124 GT unveiled

Range-topping model gets carbon fibre hardtop and OZ wheels for Geneva



We're rather fond of the Abarth 124 here at PH. The longertermer we ran certainly did a lot to improve on a decidedly underwhelming first impression, and left us with a soft spot for the raucous roadster.

Not necessarily a roadster anymore, however; Abarth today announcing the release of the 124 GT. This new model will come with a removable carbon fibre hardtop - a first for the segment - adding just 16kg to the standard car's 1,060kg kerb weight. Lined with heat and sound insulating material, and with rear demisters fitted, the roof is intended to bring a touch more refinement to the rowdiness.


It does raise a couple of questions though. The first being would you really want a hardtop 124? During our time with the car, the elegantly simple manual folding roof was one of the highlights of the package, offering instant access to a world of top down, wind-in-your-hair motoring. Where extra refinement was required was not up top but underneath, and taking that split-second convertibility away takes a good deal of the car's appeal with it.

Second, and perhaps more importantly, the GT's roof must be stored separately when not in use. This differentiates it from the folding metal hardtop of the Mazda MX-5 RF, which isn't so cumbersome, and even the limited run launch edition models of that car topped out at £28,995, at least £3,000 less than the 124 GT will cost.

A slab of carbon fibre won't be all you get for your money though, slightly more grown-up styling signifies the car's range-topping status, while a set of lightweight OZ wheels reclaim 3kg of the sixteen added by the roof. Performance will remain the same, however, the 1.4-litre turbocharged engine still producing 170hp and 184lb ft of torque, for a 0-62mph time of 6.8 seconds and a 144mph top speed.

There's no word yet on exactly when the car will arrive in UK showrooms, but more details are expected at Abarth's Geneva press conference next week. We'll be sure to keep you up to date.

Author
Discussion

HardMiles

Original Poster:

176 posts

22 months

Thursday 1st March
quotequote all
Needed to have the magic 200bhp licked to gain more followers. Looks nice, but a BMW GT car from the 70’s with an auto box can manage 7 seconds to 60mph, it’s just not special enough...

Trevor555

684 posts

20 months

Thursday 1st March
quotequote all
I applaud these cars.

Nice lightweight fun car with a combustion engine.

Will we be able to buy something like this in 5 years time?

Riverside Red

710 posts

71 months

Thursday 1st March
quotequote all
Had a Honda S2000GT for 7 years with a hard top, brought it home with the hard top in place and the next time the hard top went on was 7 years later to sell it..........really bulky to store even with the fabulously engineered stand!

RR

treeroy

386 posts

21 months

Thursday 1st March
quotequote all
HardMiles said:
Needed to have the magic 200bhp licked to gain more followers. Looks nice, but a BMW GT car from the 70’s with an auto box can manage 7 seconds to 60mph, it’s just not special enough...
why does a 0-60 time matter? Do you launch all your cars from a stand still when you go on to an A road?

My MX-5 did 0-60 in like 8 seconds and it was the most fun Ive ever had. Numbers really mean very little.

Jim the Sunderer

1,936 posts

118 months

Thursday 1st March
quotequote all
HardMiles said:
Needed to have the magic 200bhp licked to gain more followers. Looks nice, but a BMW GT car from the 70’s with an auto box can manage 7 seconds to 60mph, it’s just not special enough...
This sort of car isn't about straight line speed.
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GTEYE

1,208 posts

146 months

Thursday 1st March
quotequote all
The hardtop makes it look more like a Mk2 MX-5 with hard top and that's not a compliment.

With these sorts of cars, less really is more. It really really isn't about the speed its about the interaction, which is what makes it fun.

People moaning about 0-60 or lack of hp really don't get it and maybe they would be better served by a chipped RS6 with a billion horses!

iwantcheese5

68 posts

63 months

Thursday 1st March
quotequote all
If this fits the MX5 as well then it will be sought after in a few years time for the trackday crowd. Adding a mere 16kg but being able to remove the folding roof will be of interest for people trying to reduce weight but still have a lid on the car!

The Selfish Gene

5,090 posts

146 months

Thursday 1st March
quotequote all
I think I want one.

I can't decide between the 595 Abarth Competizone or the 124 Spider thingy..................what's the most horse power edition of the 124? Presumably it's the same lump as the 1.4 in the 595? So it could be easily upped to 180?

sandys

172 posts

182 months

Thursday 1st March
quotequote all
Looks good, hopefully it has lost the soft top in lieu of a half cage.

Easily tunable to around 200, bigger turbo a lot more.

Edited by sandys on Thursday 1st March 13:33

HardMiles

Original Poster:

176 posts

22 months

Thursday 1st March
quotequote all
I do get what you guys are on about, I drive classics, so all out speed isn’t my thing. But there’s a point at which, driving a limited edition sports car that’ll be dicked by a standard 120d is a bit lame...

Tim16V

373 posts

118 months

Thursday 1st March
quotequote all
That's a good way of creating a Coupe type version.

It saves the cost of re-engineering the whole car, is light weight, looks good and still gives you the open top option when required.

Boulders

23 posts

155 months

Thursday 1st March
quotequote all
Is this a stressed panel? My MR2 Roadster had a removable hard too which I kept in place for most of the winter months and the odd track day. You could feel the additional stiffness that it brought and I could (just) remove and fit on my own. It also gave the added benefit of feeling like a coupe when fitted.

tim milne

255 posts

169 months

Thursday 1st March
quotequote all
I agree with the article — the hardtop negates one of the main points of the car

0-60 in seven seconds might sound old-fashioned when hot hatches can get there in five, but this car is really ahead of the curve — it's pure petrol-powered, snicky-gearbox, LSD, lightweight, full-of-character fun in an age of over-managed, overly-capable do-everything machinery (looking at you, Golf R). A very focused expression of motoring enjoyment we might not see again.

I know many lament the passing of the NA engine, but the spirit of old-fashioned sports cars is exquisitely captured in the 124 Spider and the flip-top roof is an essential part of that experience.

DC-1

32 posts

35 months

Thursday 1st March
quotequote all
I was due to collect my Abarth 124 today but the weather put a stop to that.

Not the best time to collect a RWD convertible!

A phase 1 remap can have these at 200bhp easily. Phase 2 around 230bhp.

TheDrBrian

2,786 posts

158 months

Thursday 1st March
quotequote all
HardMiles said:
I do get what you guys are on about, I drive classics, so all out speed isn’t my thing. But there’s a point at which, driving a limited edition sports car that’ll be dicked by a standard 120d is a bit lame...
Which 120d will dick this car?

Johnny5hoods

305 posts

55 months

Thursday 1st March
quotequote all
If it's better rustproofed than the MX5, it gets my vote.

The Selfish Gene

5,090 posts

146 months

Friday 2nd March
quotequote all
DC-1 said:
I was due to collect my Abarth 124 today but the weather put a stop to that.

Not the best time to collect a RWD convertible!

A phase 1 remap can have these at 200bhp easily. Phase 2 around 230bhp.
now that is interesting........thank you.

Where would one get a Phase 2 remap, and how much would that be?

sandys

172 posts

182 months

Friday 2nd March
quotequote all
Its built by Mazda so is likely to be piss poor on the rust proofing front, if Fiat built it I'd imagine a better job would have been done.

sandys

172 posts

182 months

Friday 2nd March
quotequote all
I don't know what the Phase 1 and Phase 2 are but really for 230 you need a bigger turbo than the stock one, I am assuming it is the same as my Abarth Punto, a GT1446, I tuned this up to 227bhp but the turbo gave up, shaft snapped under prolonged boost at the ring and I had to send my car home on a recovery truck without me frown

a smidge over 200bhp is pretty reasonable with the stock turbo on something this light, there's a Canadian guy doing a big turbo build on you tube, might be worth keeping an eye on

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCE1ZSfeQcZ5N_Q4Il...

Bendrix

16 posts

39 months

Friday 2nd March
quotequote all
HardMiles said:
I do get what you guys are on about, I drive classics, so all out speed isn’t my thing. But there’s a point at which, driving a limited edition sports car that’ll be dicked by a standard 120d is a bit lame...
How often do you race other cars on the road? Hardly ever in my experience. If you’re more concerned about being ’dicked’ by another car in a race then you’re not the type of person who this car’s aimed at.