Big things with little cars
Big things with little cars

Spaghetti Saturday: La Leggenda Ritorna

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What we have here today is of course the new Tomica casting of the Fiat Abarth 124 Spider. But today’s Spaghetti’s dish has more than a hint of Wasabi about it. Built in Hiroshima alongside the MX-5, the new Abarth 124 Spider brings retro-themed styling, a more powerful engine and tauter underpinnings than the MX5 that create a point of difference for the Italian brand.

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That said, this roadster is about as Italian as Australian F1 star Daniel Ricciardo. While its Latin heritage extends beyond the name into its turbocharged heart, the Abarth is fundamentally Japanese. And that’s a good thing, particularly if you factor in Fiat Chrysler’s patchy record for quality.

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This version of the Tomica is the “First Day” edition - which is the “Rally” version which debuted at the 2016 Geneva Show. And it is a different casting than the regular 124 Spider, which Tomica is producing as the regular release. So I had to be quick to get in there and get one before they sell out.

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The Abarth 124 Rally is the spiritual successor to the car of the same name that Fiat/Abarth peddled from 1972 to 1975 specifically for rally competition. Like that car, the new model looks incredible with its array of auxiliary driving lights dotting the front end, fully race-prepped interior, and power bump over regular Fiat 124 Spiders.

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Make that a gigantic power bump—the 124 Rally spits out 300 horsepower from a 1.8-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine, quite a jump over the 170 ponies Abarth extracts from the pedestrian 124’s 1.4-liter turbo four. The engine, unlike the MultiAir four-cylinder shared by the 124 Spider and the Fiat 500 Abarth, uses direct fuel injection, in addition to its larger displacement and presumably hefty tuning job to produce another 130 horsepower.

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As you can tell, the model is missing a few stickers over the original. As so often, Tomica provide the stickers for you to complete the job. But like most Tomica collectors, I opt not to put them on - the tend to look grubby and come lose after a short time.

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I’m very happy with this model, even it doesn’t have any opening features, or the removable hard-top like the Tomica MX5. But it does have good detail for a basic model

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The question now is - why did Tomica go to the trouble of making a different casting for the “First Day” model? Surely that wouldn’t be worth their while for such a short run. My guess is that we will see this casting again in a variety of Special Editions, like as a part of a Gift Set or as an Event Model. And one more thing, can we have a Premium or TLV casting of the original Abarth Spider please? That’d be awesome!

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Illustration for article titled Spaghetti Saturday: La Leggenda Ritornaem/em

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