Fiat 124 Spider Elaborazione Abarth loses 10 hp in its journey to the US [UPDATE]

Update: A Fiat spokesperson got back to us about some questions about the Fiat 124 Spider Elaborazione Abarth, and those quotes are now in the story.

The Abarth-tuned version of the Fiat 124 Spider crosses the Atlantic to debut in US spec at the New York Auto Show. The droptop gets a much longer name on these shores as the 2017 Fiat 124 Spider Elaborazione Abarth, and the trip across the ocean robs it of 10 horsepower, too.

The Elaborazione Abarth in the US makes 160 horsepower and 184 pound-feet of torque from its turbocharged 1.4-liter four-cylinder. If those numbers seem familiar, it's because they are identical to the standard 124 Spider in this country. In Europe, the Abarth model makes 170 hp and 184 lb-ft from the same engine. Buyers on both continents can choose between six-speed manual or automatic gearboxes. "The engine of the EMEA [Europe, the Middle East and Africa] Abarth Spider has unique tuning developed according to European regulations, so the [horsepower] number is different," Fiat spokesperson Angela Bianchi told Autoblog.

Customers in the US also appear to lose out on some European features. The reveal in Geneva seems to show Brembo brakes as standard equipment on the convertible. However, the US announcement is clear that the four-piston monoblock aluminum calipers are optional here. Bianchi told Autoblog the decision to make the Brembos optional was "a decision by the brand here based on customer preference."

Other than these changes, the two models are practically identical. There continues to be a stiffer suspension with mono-tube Bilstein front and rear shocks, and the limited-slip differential helps put the power down. The Abarth's Sport Mode button also recalibrates the engine, automatic transmission, electric power steering and dynamic stability control system for better response when the driver wants it.

Aesthetically, the Abarth has the same retro-sporty look on both continents, too. The black hood calls back to the original convertible. Inside, black and microfiber upholstery is standard, but options include full leather or leather and Alcantara Recaro sport seats. We'll keep an eye out for smaller changes when we see the Abarth droptop in the Big Apple.

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2017 Fiat 124 Spider Elaborazione Abarth Offers Sportier, More Responsive Driving Experience for Performance Enthusiasts
  • 2017 Fiat 124 Spider Elaborazione Abarth features sport suspension, mechanical limited slip differential, Sport Mode selector and sport-tuned, chrome quad-tip exhaust
  • Available Brembo braking system and Recaro seats for added sportiness
  • Powered by turbocharged MultiAir 1.4-liter engine for 160 horsepower and 184 lb.-ft. of torque, available with manual transmission or automatic transmission with paddle shifters
  • Aggressive appearance with unique front and rear fascia, 17-inch Gun Metal aluminum wheels, Gun Metal exterior accents and available hand-painted hood stripe, offering a one-of-a-kind appearance
  • 2017 Fiat 124 Spider delivers best-in-class horsepower and torque
  • Fiat 124 Spider models will be available in studios beginning this summer

March 22, 2016 , Auburn Hills, Mich. - Since the introduction of the Fiat 500 Abarth at the 2011 Los Angeles Auto Show, the DNA of Abarth has connected with driving enthusiasts in search of a sharp, wicked, fun-to-drive machine. Continuing the legacy of Karl Abarth's performance-inspired vehicles known for their rich racing heritage, the 2017 Fiat 124 Elaborazione Abarth will debut at this year's New York International Auto Show.

The Fiat 124 Elaborazione Abarth is the heir of the roadster that drove Fiat to its first European Rally Championship win in the 1970s. Applying the Abarth formula, the new 124 Spider is designed and built for thrills and performance. Key Abarth features include rear-wheel drive, a sophisticated suspension and a four-cylinder turbocharged MultiAir 1.4 Turbo engine with best-in-class 160 horsepower that is available with a six-speed manual or six-speed automatic gearbox with paddle shift.

The 2017 Fiat 124 Spider Elaborazione Abarth is the latest addition to the Fiat 124 Spider lineup, offering added performance features for a sportier, more spirited driving experience. While all Fiat 124 Spider models deliver responsive handling and excellent power-to-weight ratio in a robust rear-wheel-drive package, the Elaborazione Abarth model builds on the Spider's engaging driving dynamics to offer even more fun for performance enthusiasts.

"Our new Fiat 124 Spider is an iconic roadster that combines classic Italian styling with modern performance and technology," said Olivier Francois, Head of FIAT Brand, FCA – Global. "The addition of our new 2017 Fiat 124 Spider Elaborazione Abarth further enhances the driving experience and offers yet another head-turning, fun-to-drive vehicle to our customers."

Performance characteristics
The 2017 Fiat 124 Spider Elaborazione Abarth features the proven turbocharged 1.4-liter MultiAir four-cylinder engine, delivering 160 horsepower and 184 lb.-ft. of torque and is paired with either a six-speed manual transmission or a six-speed automatic transmission with paddle shifters. The Elaborazione Abarth-exclusive Sport Mode changes the calibrations of the engine, automatic transmission, electric power steering and dynamic stability control system to ensure a sporty, responsive and performance-oriented driving experience.

A mechanical limited slip differential, featuring a low torque bias ratio, provides improved traction and handling, as well as improved launch performance and power delivery during cornering. The Elaborazione Abarth's unique sport suspension includes mono-tube Bilstein front and rear shock absorbers for increased traction and more precise handling. The available Brembo braking system with 17-inch alloy wheels offers monoblock aluminum calipers with four pistons, allowing for improved braking.

Aggressive appearance
With a streamlined silhouette and a stretched bonnet, the Fiat 124 Spider Elaborazione Abarth has an aggressive appearance, with unique front and rear fascia, black side sills, 17-inch Gun Metal aluminum wheels and a sport-tuned, chrome quad-tip exhaust with a unique exhaust sound. The Gun Metal header, mirror cover and roll bar complement five available paint colors: Bianco Gelato (White Clear Coat), Rosso Passione (Red Clear Coat), Nero Cinema (Jet Black Metallic), Grigio Argento (Gray Metallic) and tri-coat Bianco Perla (Crystal White Pearl).

The interior design reflects the performance-oriented details for which cars sporting the Scorpion badge are famous. There is Rosso (red) stitching throughout, including on the leather-wrapped steering wheel, wrapped instrument cluster hood, lower instrument panel and parking brake. A matte black instrument panel bezel, unique instrument cluster, aluminum-accented sport pedals and unique gear shift knob help to differentiate the Elaborazione Abarth model. Unique Nero (black) leather/microfiber seats are standard, while leather seats in Nero (black) or Nero/Rosso (black/red) are available. For true performance enthusiasts, leather and Alcantara Recaro seats are also available in Nero (black).

2017 Fiat 124 Spider
The all-new 2017 Fiat 124 Spider revives the storied nameplate, bringing its classic Italian styling and performance to a new generation. Paying homage to the original 124 Spider nearly 50 years after its introduction, the 2017 Fiat 124 Spider delivers the ultimate Italian roadster experience with driving excitement, technology and safety combined with iconic Italian design.

The 2017 Fiat 124 Spider lineup also includes the Classica and Lusso models. To celebrate the return of the classic nameplate, the first 124 vehicles will be offered as a limited-edition Prima Edizione Lusso, featuring an exclusive color combination and commemorative badging. The all-new Fiat 124 Spider will arrive in FIAT studios in North America beginning in summer 2016.

About FIAT Brand
The FIAT brand stands for discovery through passionate self-expression. That philosophy is embodied by the iconic Fiat 500 or Cinquecento – a small car that lives big. Italian at heart and rooted in a rich heritage, the 500 is sold in more than 100 countries and is synonymous with modern, simple design blending form, function, technology and a pride of ownership that is genuine.

In North America, the Fiat 500 was introduced in March 2011 and was soon followed by the Fiat 500c (Cabrio), the high-performance Fiat 500 Abarth and Abarth Cabrio, the fully electric Fiat 500e, the five-passenger Fiat 500L and the all-wheel-drive 500X crossover. The FIAT brand continues to expand with the introduction of the Fiat 124 Spider, a revival of the iconic roadster that combines Italian style, performance and engaging driving dynamics. The all-new Fiat 124 Spider will arrive at FIAT studios in summer 2016.

FIAT Information

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