The Fiat 124 Spider two-seat convertible has made its European debut at the Geneva Motor Show alongside the Abarth 124 Spider – a faster-paced version of the 124 developed by the Abarth Racing Team.

The Fiat 124 Spider entered the word stage at the Los Angeles Auto Show in December 2015 as a new fun machine in the tradition of the MG and Miata. Stepping away from the 500-series the company has been promoting in North America for the past few years, the 124 Spider promises simple wind-in-the-hair joy for road lovers.

The European version of the Fiat 124 Spider shares the same Mazda underpinnings encased in nostalgic Italian styling. With several throwbacks to the original 124, one key difference with the current 124 will be its powerplant.

Fiat's well-traveled 1.4-liter MultiAir Turbo Petrol engine will churn out 140 horsepower (104 kW) and 177 pound-feet (240 Nm) under the new Fiat's hood. This gives a 0-62 mph (0-100 km/h) acceleration time of about 7.5 seconds and a top speed of 134 mph (216 km/h). Geared towards an English audience with the UK's predilection for topless driving, the Fiat 124 Spider will have a starting price in the £20,000 (US$28,158) range. It will come in the third quarter of 2016, starting with a limited Anniversary Edition to mark the 1966 launch of the original 124.

Adding to the kitty will be a Fiat Abarth 124 Spider edition which will leap from that price point considerably, but bring a lot of performance with it. Starting in the €40,000 (US$43,428) area, the Abarth 124 Spider boosts power output to 170 hp (127 kW) and 184 lb-ft (250 Nm). The estimated 0-62 mph (0-100 km/h) speed is 5.8 seconds. A standard six-speed manual with a short-throw, direct lever is included and an automatic Sequenziale Sportivo gearbox is offered as an upgrade. A Record Monza exhaust is added for sound enhancement and a mechanical limited-slip differential is included for added rear-drive dynamics. Steering is through a dual pinion electric assist system, while braking is by Brembo.

Most of the electronic safety devices, such as traction control, ABS, etc. can be switched off for track use. Shedding weight was also an important focus in this new Abarth model, with materials upgrades and weight reduction resulting in a 1,060 kilogram (2,337 pound) car at the curb. That's a 6.2 kg (13.7 lb) per horsepower ratio, giving it the best power to weight in the category. Distribution is further enhanced with a 50/50 front/rear split for balance.

The Abarth 124 will be available in five exclusive colors including Turini 1975 White, Costa Brava 1972 Red, Isola d'Elba 1974 Blue, Portogallo 1974 Grey, and San Marino 1972 Black. All named for famed Abarth rallies of the past.

Source: Fiat, Abarth