Different spring rates and gear ratios are to be expected, but the Miata sweetens the deal with a diff dampener the Fiata doesn’t feature. The limited-slip differential is connected to a six-speed manual in both cases, and if you look closely at the bell housings, you’ll notice the Abarth features the three-pedal setup from the NC while the ND comes with the new tranny.
The motor mount brackets are specific to the Abarth, and the front subframe also makes a discordant note with the curved portion that makes more room for the intercooler of the 1.4 MultiAir turbo four-cylinder engine. The packaging is another affair altogether, made more difficult by Fiat because forced induction always adds complexity to an engine. The SkyActiv-G 2.0 happens to be longer, but nevertheless, servicing is much easier.
Want to talk about pricing and output? Let’s start off with the Mazda, which starts at $25,730 before delivery charge for the Sport trim level. That’s pretty good value if you take into consideration the G is good for 181 horsepower and 151 pound-feet of torque from the get-go, don’t you think?
$25,440 is the starting price for the Fiat version of the 124 Spider while the Abarth is $29,540 excluding destination. The most potent tune available for the MultiAir is 164 horsepower and 184 pound-feet of torque, which is a tantalizing proposition when you think about it.
Which would you pick if you had a budget of $30k in your pocket?