2017 Fiat 124 Spider-12

Following the recent debut of the Fiat 124 Spider (pictured here), it appears that its tuning arm, Abarth, is already on the move to have its own version of the roadster compete in the World Rally Championship.

A source close to the Italian tuner revealed to PistonHeads that the company is aiming to take part in the WRC under a new sports car category that will be introduced in 2017.

The report also claims that Abarth is in the midst of developing its own road-going versions of the Fiat 124 Spider, which are expected to debut in the same year. Three versions of the car have been tipped for production, each using Fiat’s 1.4 litre MultiAir Turbo four-cylinder engine, tuned for different power outputs.

2017 Fiat 124 Spider-10

If the claims are accurate, we shall see Abarth deliver a base variant with 160 hp, a mid-spec version with 190 hp, and a range-topping variant that will pack more than 200 hp. All three variants are also expected to offer chassis upgrades for better handling along with a few exterior aerodynamic fitments.

The road-going Abarth 124 line-up is also said to feature a more aggressive look to better distinguish itself from the tame-looking Fiat 124, as well as an optional matte black bonnet as a nod to the Abarth-tuned 124 Stradale from the 1970s. Just like the classic racer, the coming Abarth 124 is also rumoured to feature a hard-top, unlike Fiat’s current fabric roof.

Based on the ND Maxda MX-5, the Fiat 124 features a 160 hp/250 Nm 1.4 litre MultiAir Turbo engine. Its power and torque outputs are slightly higher than the top-shelf 2.0 litre version of the Japanese MX-5 roadster, which delivers 158 hp and 200 Nm of torque.

GALLERY: Fiat 124 Spider