Japan build quality + Italian flair = win
Regardless of whether you like the Fiat brand, its for sure that they’re onto something with the retro approach. The Fiat 124 Spider is another example of resurrecting nostalgia with modern twist since the reborn of the Fiat 500. The new 124 Spider is also known by enthusiasts as the “Fiata” with its backbone borrowed from the current gen Mazda Miata and 6 speed gearbox from the previous one. Its also assembled alongside the Miata in Japan with the 1.4 liter four cylinder provided by Fiat themself. The normal flavor 124 is considered to be a softer convertible than the MX-5 which is where the Abarth comes in.
With re-tuned chassis to sharpen handling and engine dialed to 164hp with new exhaust to give it a snarl sound, it’s not a big power hike compare to the normal 124 or the MX-5 but with a little convertible like this it’s plenty. With everything into account, I would save a little bit to buy the Abarth and walk past the MX-5. I think the Fiat looks better and all the power and chassis upgrades, its more exciting.
What gives me more reason to favor the 124 over the Miata is this:
Built to comply with Group R-GT class for sports cars such as the Porsche 911 GT3s, Lotus Exiges, and even Lamborghinis to enter rally racing. The Abarth 124 Rally receives an upgraded turbocharged engine with displacement from the road going 1.4 liter 4 cylinder up to 1.8 with fire spitting anti-lag system good for 300 hp. A programmable ECU with multiple saved settings to make the engine behave and to preserve engine life during competition. The power is delivered through race spec 7-speed sequential gearbox with launch control feature. To withstand all the bumps and jumps, tougher rally spec shocks and tires, better brakes with mechanism allow driver to select braking power between the front and rear along with the typical equipment seen on all rally cars like skidplates and a stripped out interior to shave weight and make room for an FIA certified rollcage. For cosmetic changes, the soft top roof is now replaced with a fixed unit with roof scoop made out of carbon fiber.
Apart from the hideous and ancient wheels Tomica put on this cast, its pretty good. Most of the essential details like the black hood and Abarth logos are present minus the foglights which touch up on in the future. Like most Tomicas, its got springy suspension and since this is a convertible, it comes with a removable roof. I need to find out whether the top is interchangeable with the Tomica Mazda MX-5 since theoretically they’re the same car.
Things get better from there with the special “First Day” release. Its incredible that Tomica would go through this much trouble to make the rally version with not only a completely new cast featuring the fixed roof and light pods but also a new interior. It’s hard to snap it through my phone, but when you look inside, it’s got racing seats and a race oriented center console. It also comes with stickers to decorate the car. I’ll probably apply just a few of the stickers like the windshield banner and the “Abarth” logo for the bottom grille and that’ll be about it.
I’m not sure where this rally casting will show up next, but with Tomica already released the Lotus Exige R-GT for some time, a similar car built for the same race group. There’s potential for a rally 4-pack in the future and if something like that ever comes to light, I’ll definitely get it.
Thanks for viewing, until next time. Cheers.