Fiat is taking the Abarth 124 hardtop rally racing in 2017, which is some of the best news from FCA in a while. If you don’t remember, the little car throws down big with 300 horsepower, absolutely spanking the pitiful effort from Mazda with the new MX-5 Miata.

You’ll be able to see the new car compete in FIA’s R-GT class. In case you’re not aware, rear-wheel-drive sports cars are allowed in the regs, which makes for some great fun. There’s always a possibility that Fiat is full of a lot of talk, which wouldn’t be cool, and this car could fade into the background while the Italians ditch the whole rally racing thing.

Already, the Italians have shown off what the rally car is like. The thing is stripped down to the essentials, fitted with a cage and then sensually covered inside with Alcantara. The suspension dampers are adjustable in four different ways. Helping keep it tightly sprung and ready to leap out of apexes is a limited slip differential and a six-speed sequential transmission.

Photo: Fiat
Photo: Fiat

While the production version of the Abarth 124 has a completely respectable turbocharged 1.4-liter four-banger under the hood, which puts out 160 horsepower, Fiat got a little crazier for the rally version of the car. Engineers were able to stuff a turbo 1.8-liter four-banger under the hood, and they tuned it to put out a peak 300 horsepower.

As regular gear heads get their hands on the Fiat Abarth 124, fully expect them to start figuring out how to create their own rally version of the car.

OZ wheels and other rough rally-worthy modifications abound. Seeing this thing come bounding over a dirt hill at high speed will be supremely glorious.

Fiat does have a history of rally racing that includes the Abarth 124. Here’s to hoping Fiat makes a big splash with this new effort.

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