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The Abarth 124 Rally Tribute isn’t as exciting as it sounds

Plenty of plaques and badges – no spotlights or off-road ability

This year represents the 70th year of bonkers Fiat tuner Abarth, and to celebrate the milestone it will be bringing two birthday presents to Geneva in early March.

Now, we love Abarth for its extensive back catalogue of wacky creations – and we especially love the current 124 rally car – so excitement was high in the TG office when we heard a road-going tribute was in the works.

Unfortunately, instead of a number plated version of the 296bhp, spotlight-adorned FIA R-GT Cup entrant, Abarth has given the world a standard 124 GT with some added badges and a plaque telling you which of the 124 examples you’ve spent your hard-earned cash on.

You will at least get some retro white alloys and a matte black bonnet – a feature born in the world of rallying to reduce glare, but one that’s also available on the boggo spec 124 Spider. This can’t help but feel like an opportunity missed.

Despite all of this the 124 does remain a bundle of joy to drive – even if it does have just 168bhp – so if Abarth doesn’t go too mad with the pricing it won’t struggle to sell all of these special editions, although none will come to the UK.

What will appear on our shores here in Blighty is the new 595 esseesse. That badge originally debuted in 1964 and was brought back successfully in 2009.

Now though, Abarth has given its pocket rocket their top-spec 180bhp engine and teamed it with Brembo brakes and Koni FSD suspension. This is good news. The esseesse will also get special 70th anniversary badging – of course.

What do you think of Abarth’s birthday gifts to itself? Let us know below…

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