The Mazda Miata is an awesome little sports car. Perhaps the only way to make it better is to send it off to the espresso-filled engineers at Abarth to juice all the go-faster bits.
The result is the Abarth 124 Spider, a 170-horsepower, rear-wheel drive drop-top that should deliver the best of Italian style with a Miata-sourced interior and chassis. It uses the fantastic little 1.4-liter turbocharged four-cylinder from the Fiat 500 Abarth (and the standard Fiat 124 Spider that was announced last year) and, lest the driving purists bang down the gates of Abarth's Turin HQ, it's available with a six-speed manual.
It's coming to Europe later this year for around €40,000. Then it should make its way to the US, albeit badged as a Fiat 124 with an Abarth package. That one should make around 160 horsepower because of weird American regulations, but will retain the improved suspension, brakes, exhaust, and maybe even the wacky black body panels.