fiat's 124 spider abarth gets a new exhaust sound for the 2019 model year, and you can take a listen in the video above. the new optional "record monza" exhaust system — named after the speed records carlo abarth set at the famous italian racetrack in 1965 — addresses one of our chief complaints about the abarth version of the sporty little convertible: it's too quiet.
after 1,000 miles of driving a 2017 124 spider abarth, reviewer aaron bragman despaired that the signature abarth sound was missing from the convertible, noting, "[t]he 500 abarth will wake your neighbors; the 124 spider abarth doesn't announce your arrival at all."
well, ask and ye shall receive — if you pay the $995 cost to add the exhaust system to your 2019 124 spider abarth. we'll have to hear it in person, but fiat chrysler automobiles told us the exhaust note has a louder growl for 2019, similar to that of the 500 abarth. that means it may not work for everyone: other staffers have noted that the exhaust in fiat's 500 abarth hatchback is, well, "farty," and that sound appears to spread with the 2019 124 spider abarth. personally, i'm a fan, although i haven't had to live with it for more than a day.
also new for the 2019 124 spider abarth is a new appearance package that paints the lip of the front bumper, mirror caps and tow hook red, and also adds a more stylish dead pedal and abarth scorpion-branded floormats. a rear backup camera and 7-inch multimedia screen are now standard across the entire 124 spider lineup.
other goodies that still come with the 124 spider abarth include a bilstein sport suspension, a mechanical limited-slip differential, and unique wheels and front and rear bumpers, all as standard equipment. brembo brakes and recaro seats are optional, as is a hand-painted hood stripe.
all this is well and good, but for my (purely hypothetical) money, nothing beats the fiat 124 abarth r-gt. the 2019 124 spider abarth hits dealers by the end of this year. pricing for the entire lineup starts around $25,000, and fiat says the abarth will come in at less than $30,000; both prices are before a $1,295 destination fee.
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