What is it?
Carlo Abarth might just be smiling up there somewhere. Current FCA boss Sergio Marchionne almost certainly will be down here. After a long list of fairly forgettable cars wearing the sporting Abarth badge in recent years, along comes one that has the recipe for potential success: the Abarth 124 Spider.
For starters, the Fiat 124 Spider's turbocharged 1.4-litre engine has been boosted by 30bhp and 7lb ft to a total of 168bhp and 184lb ft, and making sure everybody knows it is a standard Record Monza sports exhaust. That's the punch sorted, then, but what about the poise? Well, a rear drive layout, 1060kg kerb weight distributed evenly, stiffened anti-roll bars and uniquely tuned Abarth-Bilstein dampers should see to that.
Rounding it all off nicely is a standard limited-slip differential, bestowed upon the more powerful Mazda MX-5s (the car with which the 124 shares its platform) but reserved here for the full-fat Abarth. There is one small problem, though: the price. Even the most expensive 158bhp MX-5 2.0 Sport Nav costs just £23,695, while the Abarth starts at a rather more cumbersome £29,565.