2017 Fiat Abarth 124 Spider Preview

Our first contender, the Audi TT, has long been a popular choice for those wanting a posh but fairly affordable roadster. We like it so much that in both open-top and coupe versions it’s won more What Car? Awards over the years than just about any other car. Here, we’re looking at the entry-level 1.8-litre Sport model, the front-wheel-drive version of which, with a manual gearbox, would set you back over £30,000 new, but the example we’re testing here could be on your driveway for as little as £21,000 used.

But what if you think the TT is a bit of a wallflower? Well, if you’re after something a bit more ‘in your face’, the Abarth 124 Spider might well appeal. It might look no more than a tarted-up version of the now defunct Fiat 124 Spider, but in fact it’s a subtle improvement in a number of key areas. Not only will people see it coming in all its two-tone glory, but they’ll hear it, too, thanks to a standard quad-pipe exhaust system. Buy used and you can save even more money than you would on the TT.  

Clearly, it’s time to see if Italian flair can topple German sophistication. Read on to find out which one is our drop-top winner.

What are they like to drive?

On paper, the TT looks to hold all the aces, thanks to its larger, more powerful engine. However, the smaller and lighter 124 actually scampers from 0-60mph in less time. At faster speeds, the 124 edges out a bigger lead, but the TT isn’t far behind and is still brisk enough to see off most other cars on the road. It isn’t just lower weight that helps the 124 to accelerate quickly, though; it’s also short gearing. So even when you accelerate from relatively low revs in third, fourth or fifth, the 124 always builds speed at a faster rate. We also prefer the 124’s shorter, more mechanical gearshift compared with the longer throw of the TT.

Source : https://www.whatcar.com/news/used-test-abarth-124-spider-vs-audi-tt-roadster/n19341

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