Tag Archives: Trofeo Abarth Europe

Fiat 124 Spider Abarth: Fiata Miata (Mazda MX-5)

This is a purely speculative post about the news of the 2017 Fiat 124 Spider / Abarth model based on the Mazda MX-5 Miata / Roadster. One of the support series for the Spa 24h event I’m about to embark on is the Trofeo Abarth Europe series which I’m a huge fan of so it’s fresh on my mind to write a few thoughts down.

Why do I care about this model?

Because with my latest purchase of an NC Miata I’m interested in all things to do with the MX-5 model. I think the latest pictures from my marshaling, road trips and foodie tours could attest to that. In 2017 there will be Fiats rolling off the same assembly line as the Miata, and that’s really cool. I’m especially interested in the Abarth model. Perhaps by that time in 2017 on I’ll actually be able to upgrade my personal Miata to it’s replacement, which might as well be an Abarth… or not. It would be cool to look back on the speculation and compare it to reality.

First I wanted to share some renderings of a Fiata out there online:

Abarth 124 Spider render based on Mazda MX-5 Miata
credit: http://www.124spider.org/forum/13-2016-fiat-124-spider-photos/962-124-abarth-renderings.html
Nuova-Abarth-124-render
credit: http://www.124spider.org/forum/13-2016-fiat-124-spider-photos/962-124-abarth-renderings.html
fiat-124-spider-2015-rendering
credit: http://www.alvolante.it/news/fiat-124-spider-2015-spy-338698/foto
Fiat 124 spider-kOEI-U430501163338409mhD-590x445@Corriere-Web-Sezioni
credit: http://motori.corriere.it/motori/anteprime/cards/alfa-suv-fiat-124-spider-novita-fca/fiat-124-spider.shtml
2015-Fiat-Abarth-Spider-HD
credit: http://woolves.com/fiat

Kind of important to remember that none of the 2016 Miata renderings were terribly close to the real thing, the ND MX-5. But it’s nice to speculate, and to actually compare what the two cars share in common and what bits could be used from one car on another.

Just because the two cars would roll off the same assembly line doesn’t necessarily mean they’d be identical. It’s important to note that the Ford Mustang and the Mazda 6 rolled off the same Auto Alliance assembly line and the two are quite different vehicles. However, during my recent Cars & Coffee conversation with a Lotus Elise owner it was interesting to hear him talk about the interchangeable parts between his car and the Tesla Roadster (the center console in particular… a much desired part by Lotus owners).

For one the Abarth version of the Fiata will be significantly more powerful than the 155hp Miata, so that’s something to look forward to. Although I’m pretty content with the amount of power my current NC Miata has.

So much like the Toyobaru union for the Toyota 86 GT / Scion FR-S / Subaru BRZ I think this will be a huge hit with the two door roadster owner community in the US but more importantly around the world. One of my favorite things is to see the same exact Miata in pictures posted by their owners from North America, Europe, Asia, the Pacific, etc. It’s truly amazing!

Let’s wait and see how this develops.

Check out this post from Lime Rock Park where I got to marshal a historics event with a number of classic Abarth race cars well represented: Abarth Fiats at Lime Rock

 

UPDATE: So as per the September 28th Jalopnik article, this is what it’ll actually look like… (very similar to the MX-5 especially the interior except the exterior a bit less rounded and larger proportion)

http://jalopnik.com/2017-fiat-124-spider-this-is-it-1733363750

jalopnik fiata miata fiat 124 mx-5 a
photo credit: Jalopnik
jalopnik fiata miata fiat 124 mx-5 b
photo credit: Jalopnik
jalopnik fiata miata fiat 124 mx-5 c
photo credit: Jalopnik
jalopnik fiata miata fiat 124 mx-5
photo credit: Jalopnik

Spa 24 hour Spotter Guide Blancpain Endurance Series in Belgium at the Spa-Francorchamps

To say I’m super excited about my next race would be an understatement. I’m simply thrilled. Next week I’m off to Belgium to marshal my first Spa 24 hour event at the world famous Belgian circuit Spa-Francorchamps. So in preparation for the trip I’d like to share some information about the event to help me get prepped for the race. Sadly Andy Blackmore hasn’t come up with a handy spotter guide for this race, and the only one I’ve found so far is from 2013 on DailySportsCar.com http://www.dailysportscar.com/Uploads/BES/2013/SPA/BES_Spa_Francorchamps_Spotter_Guide.pdf 2013 coincidentally was the last year that Team Ukraine Racing with Ferrari participated in this event with their #123 Ferrari 458 Italia pictured above.

IF ANYONE HAS A SPOTTER GUIDE PLEASE SHARE A LINK HERE

The official Blancpain Endurance Series Spa 24 hour entry list can be found here: http://www.24hoursofspa.com/entry-list and it includes some of the finest and most exotic European GT3 machinery (all 60+ of them) including:

  • Audi R8 LMS and Audi R8 LMS Ultra
  • Bentley Continental GT3
  • BMW Z4 GT3
  • Mercedes-Benz AMG SLS GT3
  • Lamborghini Huracan and Gallardo
  • Nissan GT-R Nismo GT3
  • McLaren 650S GT3 and MP4-12C
  • Ferrari 458 Italia GT3
  • Emil Frey G3 Jaguar
  • Aston-Martin Vantage GT3
  • Porsche 997 GT3 R

According to the official provisional timetable, found here:  http://www.blancpain-gt-series.com/ there will be some interesting support races for this enduro, including:

  • Formula Renault 2.0 NEC
  • Porsche Carrera Cup
  • Lamborghini Super Trofeo
  • Trofeo Abarth Europe
  • SPA 24H

Oh and there will also be great entertainment besides all the events on track. Martin Solveig will be the headlining DJ for Saturday night’s concert according to the official event poster, found here: http://www.24hoursofspa.com/posters

poster-2015-Total-24-Hours-of-Spa

And so with that, I don’t know what I should look forward to more. The concert? The different racing? All the exotics on track going flat out? Or maybe an amazing marshal post… there’s so many options:

  • La Source
  • Eau Rouge
  • Raidillon
  • Kemmel Straight
  • Les Combes
  • Bruxelles
  • Pouhon
  • Campus
  • Stavelot
  • Courbe Paul Frere
  • Blanchimont
  • Chicane

spa-francorchamps_of_belgium

I think I would just be happy being there!

The trip over will take me via Rome, Italy on Alitalia so I’ll get to have some pizza in the motherland. And then fly home again on Finnair via Helsinki, through Chicago.

I’m so looking forward to this trip, I just can’t wait to be there!

A little history. I have visited Spa-Francorchamps in the French part of Belgium and Zolder in the Flemish/Dutch part of Belgium on my 2013 road trip from Le Mans 24h to Nurburgring 24h with Pol. Pol has been an amazing organizer for all of my European events and I thank him from the bottom of my heart for all the help. Belgium will be my 14th country to marshal, and Spa-Francorchamps 30+ track, which is absolutely positively awesome. I love Belgium!