In-depth reviews

Abarth 124 Spider review – interior and tech

Flawed but boisterous; fun and with plenty of character, its problem is a lack of finesse and its dreary engine

Evo rating
Price
from £29,565
  • Lots of fun, accessible performance, engaging character
  • Quite expensive, steering lacks feedback

Interior and tech

While Abarth has spent its money altering the MX-5’s styling and gracing the engine bay with a new power unit, it’s made only a token effort giving a latin feel to the Japanese car’s cabin.

That’s not automatically a bad thing, as the MX-5’s interior is generally well-designed. There is a shortage of cubby holes – in place of a glovebox you get a lockable bin between the seat backs, there are no door pockets and the centre console cubby is a bit pokey – but it has a sporty feel and uses materials of decent quality.

Subscribe to evo magazine

Subscribe today to have every issue of evo delivered straight to you. You'll SAVE 39% on the shop price, and get evo for its original cover price for a whole year!

From this base, Abarth changes are largely cosmetic. Door panels are no longer body-coloured, dashboard panels have a smattering of Alcantara trim (as does the scorpion-badged centre cubby/arm rest), and the standard Mazda three-spoke steering wheel gets detail changes, with a slightly thicker rim and the obligatory Abarth shield. Instruments are different too, the central rev counter highlighted in red. The gearlever is also a little shorter than the one found in the Mazda.

It’s hard to shake the feeling you’re not really in an Abarth product though. For all its failings, the Fiat 500-based Abarths feel genuinely unique inside, from their comically oversized metal pedals to their large bewinged bucket seats and cool-to-the-touch aluminium gearshift lever. The Abarth 124 feels very much like a Mazda with a few stylised scorpions dotted about.

Advertisement
Advertisement - Article continues below
Advertisement
Advertisement

Most Popular

Visit/porsche/202872/porsche-911-carrera-s-vs-rivals-r8-vantage-570gt-and-evora-face-off
Porsche

Porsche 911 Carrera S vs rivals: R8, Vantage, 570GT and Evora face off

The question is simple. Does the 992-generation 911 Carrera S still have the edge on its core rivals?
11 Jul 2020
Visit/mercedes/amg-gt/201615/2021-mercedes-amg-gt-black-series-revealed-in-new-video
Mercedes AMG GT

2021 Mercedes-AMG GT Black Series revealed in new video

The long-awaited Mercedes-AMG GT Black Series has been shown for the first time in an official video
9 Jul 2020
Visit/news/21596/ares-panther-progettouno-reborn-de-tomaso-pantera-hits-the-road
News

Ares Panther ProgettoUno – reborn De Tomaso Pantera hits the road

5.2-litre V10 and pop-up headlights for Dany Bahar’s reimagined supercar
9 Jul 2020
Visit/porsche/18843/car-pictures-of-the-week
Porsche

Car pictures of the week

In this week’s car pictures from issue 276, we look at the highlights from our time with the first and latest Porsche Turbos
10 Jul 2020