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Can anyone give me more info on what the difference under the bonnet is between the two cars? Does the Abarth get a bigger turbo? Im trying to figure out what the main differences are other than the ECU tune.
 

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The TLDR answer is just the ECU tune and less than 10hp difference, plus the Abarth has a strut brace and a different engine cover (piece of plastic) plus a limited slip differential, bilstein shocks, and depending on spec level, brembo front brake calipers and various cosmetic bits and pieces.

The long answer to that question depends on which side of the "pond" you are. On the "east" (UK and Europe) Abarth is promoted as a separate "premium" brand, and that was the justification for a large price difference (~ £7,000) between the Fiat and Abarth versions when new, plus a larger power difference. The Fiat was 140 hp vs 170 hp in the Abarth, which also came with the Record Monza exhaust.

Over in the Americas, Fiat had not long made a come back after withdrawing from the market in the early 90s, and Abarth was even less well known, becoming just another trim level, with just a bit extra hp and not even including the Record Monza nor wing (fender) or steering wheel Abarth badges to start with. The price difference to the Fiat was much smaller however.

Futher away in Australia, only the Abarth version was marketed.

The engine itself is identical in the Fiat and Abarth, with the same pistons, con rods, crankshaft, camshaft and bearings, inlet and exhaust manifolds, turbo, intercooler, etc.

The other Abarth extras are different front and rear bumpers (and different rear side marker lights in the US), different front grille, different coloured windscreen surround and rollover hoop covers, the "heritage stripe" option (matt black painted or wrapped), the red background tacho, different seat and interior trim options, and different wheels.
 

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Fiat 124 Spider w/ Abarth LSD & RM
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I think the answer is no differences at all.
My fiat motor says 170hp in a sticker, so the motor is the same at the production line.
Same compression, turbo, injectors, plugs, camshaft, multiair unit,...
Then you got a different midpipe without resonator in the abarth and the final exhaust too. But the air filter/admission/crosspipe is the same.
 

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2017 124 Classica
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So in Europe you're a flash tune away from the same engine performance.

However there is ONE thing the Abarth has that the Classica/Lusso doesn't that's not easily solved and that's the limited slip diff. If you're street driving that doesn't matter. On track though, you will desperately want that LSD.
 
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2020 Abarth 124 Brillante White Velleno package with Monza exhaust.
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So in Europe you're a flash tune away from the same engine performance.

However there is ONE thing the Abarth has that the Classica/Lusso doesn't that's not easily solved and that's the limited slip diff. If you're street driving that doesn't matter. On track though, you will desperately want that LSD.
Luckily there is a far superior OSGiken (however it’s spelled), one available from Goodwin that you can install. I wanted to buy a new car that I didn’t have to do anything to, so I opted for the Abarth. That being said I will slowly start to mod it as it gets more miles and stuff wears out.
 

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We didn't buy an Abarth, instead we made a Classica MUCH faster. One of the early things we did was yank the entire rear differential assembly and send it to our friends in Japan so the competition grade OSGIKEN limited slip could be built to be plug and play in the Fiat 124. For those who will be upgrading turbo and racing it like we do with much more grip.

OS Giken Superlock LSD for Fiat 124


 

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2020 Abarth 124 Brillante White Velleno package with Monza exhaust.
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The clutch type is more reliable, provides better engagement disengagement, and is stronger than the friction cone design stock in the Abarth in-fact it is also better for racing than the torsen type as well but the torsen is very reliable. Brian can elaborate and or correct the above statement, as this is just my understanding of the two different systems.
 

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All that is well stated and accurate. The factory is reliable for street users but comparatively low locking rate.

That means as you add more power with upgrades the factory is increasingly acting as an open diff. In contrast, the OSGIKEN even with stuffed turbo and tune for those of us doing 250 ft/lbs and more will still easily do 100 percent locking as needed to put all the power to the ground. This may not be relevant to typical casual street user, for me with stuffed turbo racing the car with 17x10 out of tight autocross turns like you see here, I want ALL the power to the ground and the factory rear setup just won't do it, the factory unit allows slip and loss of traction and loss of time is the result. The OSGIKEN does it smoothly and reliably and in a predictable manner lap after lap no matter how hard you lean on it. Thus, all my fast toys have an OSGIKEN in the rear.

 

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Fiat 124 Spider w/ Abarth LSD & RM
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I have a question, maybe stupid... but i'm curious...

In the stock abarth tochigi-fuji style lsd when the "lsd" lose power in their action, the differential will act like an open differential (i think cause it looks pretty much the same of a open diff but with some "connection" between the 2 rear axles).

In the os giken when the clutches lose the gripped part of their plates, will it do the same, or will it lose some power from the drive train to the wheels?
 

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2020 Abarth 124 Brillante White Velleno package with Monza exhaust.
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Not a stupid question, and I don’t have an answer to your question. from past experience with clutch type LSD they last a very long time (not raced) and as long as you use the correct fluid are problem free. In a racing situation I will again ask Brian to chime in on that. Overall I would say kill the stock one and upgrade to the osgiken.
 

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The abarth LSD is a torsen unit, which means that in conditions where you have 0 traction, it will act like an open diff. I was stuck on ice and had to ruin my perfectly good jacket by putting it underneath the rear wheels. A clutch LSD will act like a LSD 100% of the time.

the abarth unit is good enough for the occasional track day and for 99.99% of people, but a clutch based system will always be better for bad conditions and on the track
 

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Fiat 124 Spider w/ Abarth LSD & RM
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It's not torsen... abarth differential it's a tochigi fuji type. Search google for some pics.
Torsen type have lots of gears making the limited slip function.
The abarth have 2 springs that forces some dented rings to make the limited slip function. It's kind of a brake pad that with rotation tries to lock.
 
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