Fiat 124 Spider Elaborazione Abarth

Fiat 124 Abarth 2017

Recent winner in the longest name by an Italian car company, Fiat brings us a special version of their MX-5/Miata based 124 Spider. It’s the latest addition to the Fiat 124 Spider lineup, offering added performance features for a sportier, more spirited driving experience. While all Fiat 124 Spider models deliver responsive handling and excellent power-to-weight ratio in a robust rear-wheel-drive package, the Elaborazione Abarth model builds on the Spider’s engaging driving dynamics to offer even more fun for performance enthusiasts.

“Our new Fiat 124 Spider is an iconic roadster that combines classic Italian styling with modern performance and technology,” said Olivier Francois, Head of FIAT Brand, FCA – Global. “The addition of our new 2017 Fiat 124 Spider Elaborazione Abarth further enhances the driving experience and offers yet another head-turning, fun-to-drive vehicle to our customers.”

Performance characteristics
The 2017 Fiat 124 Spider Elaborazione Abarth features the proven turbocharged 1.4-liter MultiAir four-cylinder engine, delivering 160 horsepower and 184 lb.-ft. of torque and is paired with either a six-speed manual transmission or a six-speed automatic transmission with paddle shifters. The Elaborazione Abarth-exclusive Sport Mode changes the calibrations of the engine, automatic transmission, electric power steering and dynamic stability control system to ensure a sporty, responsive and performance-oriented driving experience.

A mechanical limited slip differential, featuring a low torque bias ratio, provides improved traction and handling, as well as improved launch performance and power delivery during cornering. The Elaborazione Abarth’s unique sport suspension includes mono-tube Bilstein front and rear shock absorbers for increased traction and more precise handling. The available Brembo braking system with 17-inch alloy wheels offers monoblock aluminum calipers with four pistons, allowing for improved braking.

If this looks to your liking, they should be appearing in Fiat showrooms in the US this summer. 

Fiat 124 Spider Coming to the US!

Fiat Spider 2017

The all-new 2017 Fiat 124 Spider revives the storied nameplate, bringing its classic Italian styling and performance to a new generation. Paying homage to the original 124 Spider nearly 50 years after its introduction, the 2017 Fiat 124 Spider delivers the ultimate Italian roadster experience with driving excitement, technology and safety combined with iconic Italian design.

“There’s no better way to celebrate 50 years of the Fiat 124 Spider than to bring back this iconic roadster, pairing its Italian styling of the past with all of the modern performance and technology of today,” said Olivier François, Head of FIAT Brand, FCA – Global. “The 124 Spider expands the FIAT family, bringing to market yet another head-turning, fun-to-drive vehicle for our customers.”

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Mini Superlegga

mini superlegga

Finally Mini has come out with a variant that actually looks good (or maybe I’m just on my own thinking the current coupe and countryman and whatever else random they spawned are all fugly).

Scheduled for release (hopefully) in 2018 as a replacement for the roadster) this to me almost looks like a mini Jag of old (and that’s definitely a good thing). If you can imagine one of these things with the Cooper S engine in there, it could be the perfect baby convertible for those summer days.

Audi S3 Convertible

Audi S3 ConvertibleI’ve always admired the Audi convertibles – the S4 and S5 always seemed to look just right in a way the BMW equivalents never quite managed. Adding to their repetoire is now the S3 Convertible, about the be officially released at the Geneva Motor Show.

Audi S3 Convertible front side

Using a tuned 2.0 TSFI engine pushing out 300 bhp’s and 280 lb/ft of torque (or in typical German fashion, the note from Audi actually said 280.27), it retains the sporty S3 suspension.

Audi S3 Convertible Rear

The open-top four-seater has a soft top with an electrohydraulic drive. Magnesium, aluminum and high-strength steel keep its weight low and a highly insulating foam layer in the roof reduces the noise level in the interior. The top is available in three colors and it opens or closes in 18 seconds, even while driving at speeds up to 30mph. An active rollover system protects passengers in the event of an accident, but hopefully you won’t find out how it works.

Audi S3 Convertible Interior

Given it’s an Audi, all-wheel drive is standard, as is the 6 speed S Tronic transmission that goes with it. It looks like there will be no manual option for this car, although there is a launch control function so you can win the all important traffic light race. Not sure on release date for the US yet (or I guess the confirmation that it’s going to make it over here even), but you can buy one for about 50,000 euros in Germany this summer.

Lamborghini Veneno Roadster

Veneno Roadster 3The Lamborghini Veneno Roadster made its public debut on board the Italian naval aircraft carrier Nave Cavour, because, when you’re only going to make 9 of the things (ever), you may as well go a little overboard with the debut. I didn’t get an invite to the ceremony, but it was docked in Abu Dhabi for the party. Maybe next time Lamborghini?

Veneno Roadster 2

With a maximum output of 552 kW / 750 hp, the Veneno Roadster accelerates from 0 to 100 km/h in just 2.9 seconds and top speed stands at 355 km/h. It’s driven by a twelve-cylinder engine with a displacement of 6.5 liters and is equipped with the extremely fast-shifting ISR transmission with five modes, permanent all-wheel drive and a racing chassis with pushrod suspension and horizontal spring/damper units. And a bargain at only 3.3 million Euros (before tax of course).

Veneno Roadster 1

Lana Del Rey Music Video or a Jag F-Type Ad?

I’m not sure, but I don’t think I care too much. Either way it’s a goodie

Jaguar F-Type – First Review (kind of)

So the first couple of Jaguars are out in the wild, and if you didn’t hear the rumblings and grumblings last week on Twitter from various car journalists, they’re not allowed to drive it. But they are allowed to sit in the passenger seat while a Jaguar paid professional gives them a blast around the British countryside. I guess they’re still fine tuning everything before the official versions go out, so this is a way to keep the excitement going while that happens. Or something. Jag F-Type Road

So the nice guys over at Top Gear have their first “review” from the non-steering wheel side. As you can imagine, it’s tough to get a really good feel for how the thing drives without being in control of the bits that make it steer, stop and go, but the summary is it’s a little harder core than they were expecting (in a good way). Hop over and check it out for yourself.

BMW 4 Series

It looks like BMW has decided having a 3 series sedan, coupe and convertible is a little bit too much, and someone came up with the “great” idea of creating a 4 series. Details are a little sparse currently, with a full press release promised for the Detroit Motor Show in January. It does look better than the last 3 series coupe – I had a hard time with that one (and especially the M3 version which apart from a carbon roof and an engine bulge didn’t look very different to the base model) as it just seemed a little chunky and ill-defined. I guess the big question now is whether or not this signals the end of the M3? The sedan version of the sportiest model has always been an option (in again, out again), so if it misses out this time, we might  only have an M4? I’m sure BMW will answer this, and the price and performance questions in good time.

Jaguar F-Type

Jaguar have officially launched the much anticipated F Type – their little 2 seater convertible sports car. It comes in 3 engine flavors – 3 litre Supercharged V6 (first seen in I think in the recent update to the Jag XJ over in the UK if I’m not mistaken – it got great reviews) in both 340 and 380 bhp tune, and a supercharged V8 pushing out 495 bhp. Pricing in the US (without any options) are $69k, $81k and $92k respectively. That puts it into some pretty high territory, and looks like it might price it significantly above the new Porsche Boxster base prices – of course, things can change dramatically depending on which option boxes you check. Latest reports are that it will be available next summer (2013) as a 2014 model, so get yourself down to your Jag dealer quickly if you fancy one.


Jaguar F Type Release at Paris Motor Show

Looks like the price might push it about the Boxster S, which could be a tough sell? But her, first Jag two seater convertible since the E-Type.