A hairdresser’s car no more. The Italians have taken the latest Mazda MX-5 platform and turned it into a modern day revival of their classic Fiat 124 Spider.
The performance boffins over at their neighbouring Abarth weren’t satisfied enough though so they dumped the 1.4-litre turbo motor and replaced it with their own 1.8-litre turbo four-cylinder packing a healthy 300hp instead. What you get before you is the Fiat 124 Abarth R-GT rally car.
Even the standard manual gearbox gets the boot with a new six-speed sequential now sitting beside the driver for a much more engaging driving experience through rapid shifting.
Abarth didn’t just pull a lazy swap job though. Both the engine and transmission have been pushed further back into the chassis to help achieve a closer weight balance to the magic 50:50 figure. Beyond that the hardcore road car receives functional and cosmetic goodies such as a roll cage and fixed roof complete with mandatory rally air scoop.
The video above shows the R-GT in all of its manic glory as it’s being flung around corners with poise and a lot of noise. Given that this particular example is the test version being used to achieve FIA compliance, it’s only a matter of time before we see some of these steroid-induced roadsters rolling around local streets.