Fiat to return to rallying with 124 Spider?

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It may sound strange at first, but you might see an Abarth-tuned Fiat 124 Spider caked in dirt and sliding around rally stages in just a few years. The Scorpion-emblazoned company will reportedly enter the World Rally Championship with a version of the recently unveiled, Miata-based convertible, according to PistonHeads citing "a source close to the tuning company." The racecar will allegedly arrive in 2017 in time for a new sports car class in the WRC.

Spy shots already show a road-going Abarth 124 Spider likely under development. According to PistonHeads, the company would offer the model with multiple tunes of the 1.4-liter turbo four-cylinder, including 160 horsepower (like the US example), 190 hp, and over 200 hp for a special rally-inspired version. In a nod to high-performance 124 convertibles from the '70s, it would sell the new examples with an optional matte black hood and hardtop.

Maria Conti from Fiat's press department in Turin told Autoblog that a WRC entry is "just speculation" for now. "There are no plans for Fiat 124 Spider in motorsport," she said.

We'll take PistonHeads' claim with a gargantuan grain of salt for now, but it might not be entirely preposterous. Abarth-branded rally cars already exist for lower competition classes, and rumors from 2009 and 2011 indicate the earlier possibility of a WRC entry from the company. The series also has an influx of new vehicles in 2017 like the Toyota Yaris and an upcoming Citro├źn model.

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