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Is $43,000 Too Much for a Fiat, Be It the 124 Spider Abarth?
Just like its Italian brother Lancia, Fiat is one of those historic car brands that have to navigate some treacherous waters if they plan on surviving. With a limited offering in terms of present models and a not entirely clear strategy for the future, Fiat has some rough years ahead.

Is $43,000 Too Much for a Fiat, Be It the 124 Spider Abarth?

This is the $43K Fiat 124 Spider AbarthThis is the $43K Fiat 124 Spider AbarthThis is the $43K Fiat 124 Spider AbarthThis is the $43K Fiat 124 Spider AbarthThis is the $43K Fiat 124 Spider AbarthThis is the $43K Fiat 124 Spider AbarthThis is the $43K Fiat 124 Spider AbarthThis is the $43K Fiat 124 Spider AbarthThis is the $43K Fiat 124 Spider AbarthThis is the $43K Fiat 124 Spider AbarthThis is the $43K Fiat 124 Spider AbarthThis is the $43K Fiat 124 Spider AbarthThis is the $43K Fiat 124 Spider AbarthThis is the $43K Fiat 124 Spider AbarthThis is the $43K Fiat 124 Spider Abarth
But, be that as it may, Fiat was once a force of Italian engineering, and it deserves its place in our special coverage of all things (motorized) Italian. We’re not going to talk about the company and its history, or about the models that were. No. We’re going to focus on the only thing still exciting in the Fiat portfolio, namely the 124 Spider Abarth.

As said, there are not that many cars left in Fiat’s portfolio. At home in Europe, the carmaker is responsible for selling sells just three models (in a rather large number of versions), namely the 500, Panda, and Tipo. Here in the U.S. we only have (for now) the SUV variant of the 500, the 500X, and two 124 Spiders, one Abarth and one regular.

Needless to say, the Abarth 124 is the top of the range in the offering. Several thousand dollars more expensive than its Fiat sibling, it kicks off at $29,390, but that can go much higher, really really fast. How higher, and how fast? Read on, and find out what came out at the end of our little playtime with the carmaker’s configurator for the American market.

As said, the Fiat 124 Spider Abarth kicks off at just under $30k, and for that you get a 1.4-liter MultiAir turbo engine good for 164 horsepower and 184 pound-feet of torque, and a six-speed manual transmission with a short-throw shifter for the ultimate driving thrills.

As far as stock exterior is concerned, the Spider comes with six color choices, all but one free of charge - the carmaker asks an extra $595 for the Puro White Tri-Coat Pearl.

We chose that, of course, and adorned it with the so-called hand-painted heritage racing stripe, which is more of a full paint over the hood and trunk, worth an extra $2,195. There are two other, cheaper stripe versions, the Scorpion in black or red, but at $395 they’re too cheap to take into consideration as we seek to find out just how expensive this little thing can get.

There is one wheel choice, four 17-inch aluminum pieces, and they’re free of charge, but one could be inclined to add the Brembo braking hardware behind them, and that adds an extra $1,495 to the pot.

Inside, the choices on the table are Abarth or Recaro leather sport seats, with the latter the more expensive choice at $1,195. The Bluetooth radio with a 7-inch display comes free of charge.

With just a few visual options added, the Fiat 124 Spider Abarth already jumped to over $36,000, and we haven’t even started toying with available packages.

When it comes to them, we have the Veleno Appearance Group ($495, minor visual upgrades), the Visibility Group (adaptive headlights, daytime LEDs for $995), and the Navigation and Sound Group that adds for $1,295 a 9-speaker Bose system and GPS navigation. There are two left, the Convenience Group (ParkSense, alarm, and garage door opener, among others), and Mopar floor and slush mats – combined, these two will cost you over $1,500.

As far as the powertrain goes, you have the option of swapping the manual tranny for an auto, also with six speeds, provided you agree to pay an extra $1,450 for it. Add to that the Record Monza exhaust, and our Fiat 124 Spider Abarth price jumps over $43,000, which is a hell of a lot more than, well, pretty much most other worthwhile vehicles out there, including what American carmakers are asking for the much more potent muscle cars, or roomier SUVs.

Sure, you get a special kind of thrill behind the wheel of this two-passenger roadster when compared to an SUV, for instance, but Mazda offers something similar (and with a significantly greater history) for a tad less.

 
 
 
 
 

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