Keep your eyes open for the possible debut of the high-performance Abarth version of the Fiat 124 Spider at the Geneva Motor Show, which opens March 1. Alfredo Altavilla, FCA's chief operating officer for Europe, told Italian newspaper Corriere Della Sera the hotter droptop would debut in Switzerland, according to Road & Track. Unfortunately, he simply said the convertible would be there and didn't offer any details about its upgrades.

Rumors paint a fairly complete picture about what to expect from the Abarth 124. European models would likely make 170 horsepower from a tuned version of the regular one's 1.4-liter turbocharged engine. However, there would also be an even hotter EsseEsse trim, which the US would get, with around 220 horsepower. Achieving that much power might require a new engine, and it's possible the convertible could borrow the 1.75-liter turbo unit from the Alfa Romeo 4C.

Spy shots show the Abarth has a more aggressive look to match its extra performance. The body features larger front takes, bigger side sills, and dual-exit exhausts at each corner of the rear. Reports also suggest Fiat would borrow from the classic 124 Spider by offering options like a removable hardtop and blacked-out hood.

During the standard 124 Spider's debut at the LA Auto Show, Olivier François, global head of the Fiat brand, said the company plans to market the new convertible as a relatively affordable but distinctly Italian sports car. A Ferrari might be out of a buyer's reach, but a Fiat is attainable. The Abarth's extra performance seems like a perfect way to further that message, and we can't wait to see it.

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