In large part, that’s because of the tuner’s ‘racing anti-glare kit’, which is a splendidly facetious description for the matt black treatment enacted on the 124’s long bonnet. This signals its maker’s sentimental awareness of recent history and places the car in homage-like context – but there’s more besides.
The car’s aggressive front bumper has been significantly redesigned to accommodate larger air intakes and the rear has a ‘Record Monza’ quad exhaust to go with further scoops in the panelling.
The pipes are connected to the same turbocharged 1.4-litre Multiair engine as in the Fiat 124 Spider, albeit in a heightened state of tune here, the previously modest 138bhp at 5000rpm wound up to 168bhp at 5500rpm.
That’s slightly more than is developed by Mazda’s naturally aspirated 2.0-litre lump, but it is the heftier peak torque, delivered 2000rpm sooner, that distinguishes the Italian four-cylinder unit from its Japanese opposite.
Beyond the engine bay, the Abarth probably shares more mechanical components with the equivalent MX-5 than its Fiat sibling.
Like Mazda’s most expensive variant, the Abarth gets the Bilstein dampers and rear limited-slip differential not available on the cooking model, although the front double-wishbone and rear multi-link suspension are standard throughout both ranges.