Abarth is no longer simply about go-faster versions of the Fiat 500. Since 2016, the Turinese tuner – treated as a standalone manufacturer within the Fiat-Chrysler group – has also sold its own sports car: the Abarth 124 Spider.
For the uninitiated, the 124 Spider is a faster, more focused take on its Fiat cousin (itself based heavily on the Mazda MX-5). Power climbs to 170hp for 0-62mph in 6.8 seconds, while stiffer suspension and a strut brace sharpen the handling.
Now, there’s a new GT version of the 124, and we were among the first to drive it. The key difference is a removable hard-top roof: a homage of sorts to the 1972 Abarth 124 Rally. Made of carbon fibre, it weighs just 16kg.
That modest weight gain is good news, as the standard fabric soft-top remains hidden beneath the rear deck. It’s there for when it rains and you’ve left the roof at home, making the GT the best of both worlds – apart from its £2,000 price premium.
Even with the hard-top in place, the 124 sounds brilliant, its snarling, quad-tailpipe exhaust echoing off the concrete walls of Rockingham circuit. Lively steering, a snappy gearshift and a revvy engine complete this fast and fun package.
Check out our video to see the Abarth 124 GT in action, plus other highlights from the Abarth range: a 595 Competizione, 695 Rivale and 695 Biposto Record – the latter with a dog ring gearbox from the Assetto Corse racer.