This is the Abarth 124 Spider. Based on Fiat 124, it has more power, a more focused chassis, more aggressive looks and, quite significantly, more noise than Abarth 595. The 124 Spider, shares the same platform as the Mazda MX-5 and the Fiat 124. Abarth 124 is more extreme and the most performance orientated of the three.

The Abarth 124 Spider uses 1.4-litre, four-cylinder turbocharged engine

The engine is as the Fiat 124, except in this ride it makes 170bhp – 32bhp more than in the Fiat. Torque only rises by 7lb ft to 184lb ft. The engine revs with the spritely verve you’d expect of an Italian sports car and the throttle response is also good. The fast-revving engine makes heel-and-toe down changes easy and entertaining.

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The noise it makes is what’s most significant about the engine. If you’re used to the big, burbling noise emitted from the little 500-based Abarths, then the 124 will sound familiar.

The loud noise emitted from its quad exhausts tells you that the Abarth is more aggressive than an MX-5. The gearchange is oddly heavy. It feels like you should manhandle it, but you can make precise yet aggressive changes.

Technical highlights? With Abarth 124 Spider everything is blissfully simple

An LSD in a small, lightweight, rear-wheel-drive sports car is a recipe for fun. The Abarth has a Sport switch. Putting the 124 into Sport makes the throttle feel more immediate, slackens off the ESP, adds some weight to the steering and traction control.

The first thing you notice as you drive it down the road is that the structure feels more rigid than the Fiat or Mazda’s.  The Abarth feels most comfortable driven on the throttle. On an unknown road, the Abarth is a very fun, predictable and dependable companion.

The carcosts £29,850, which is far from an insignificant amount of money. Consider that the Abarth will be rarer, more luxurious, and that its badge has some substantial heritage and you can start to justify the extra price.

Abarth 124 Spider Video: