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Tuesday, February 6, 2018

Confirmed: Abarth Steering Wheel Badge Coming!

2019 Abarth Spider Steering Wheel has confirmed the 2019 Fiat 124 Spider Abarth will come with Abarth badging on its steering wheel and seatbacks embroidered with the Abarth name.

Abarth Embroidered Seat Backs
Note:the above pictures are of the European Abarth 124 Spider. Images of the US version are not available, but are anticipated to look similar.

When the Abarth version of the Fiat 124 Spider was first announced in March 2016, the car was initially badged as the Fiat 124 Spider with an Elaborazione Abarth emblem on the side. The name Elaborazione Abarth is loosely translated to Tuned by Abarth meaning that the car had an Abarth option package.

Fiat 124 Spider Elaborazione Abarth

American Abarth enthusiasts were taken by surprise - they wanted the full Abarth treatment and badging - and took to the forum to voice their opinion. You can read the discussions here on the Fiat 124 Spider Forum.

Elaborazione Abarth Badge

Condensing their views, this author put together a letter to some key players in the company petitioning for the new car to have more power and the car be badged as an Abarth. The Fiat USA listened to their fan base and out went the Elaborazione badge and Fiat emblems and in came the full Abarth branding including the added horsepower of the European car.

Fiat 124 Spider Abarth

An interesting bit of trivia is Fiat USA had to seek approval from Abarth & Co. to call the car an Abarth. Sources say it was not just a straightforward name change and required some negotiations. In Europe, the Abarth brand is a separate division from Fiat and is run with different leadership with their own objectives.

One sticking point was the Abarth logos for the interior. Changing the steering wheel badging was not as simple as slapping a badge on and calling it done as the badge is attached to the airbag cover. That would mean recertifying the airbag system which would take at least one year to complete. The embroidered Abarth logo on the seats (which also contain airbags) faced a similar delay. This is discussed in this article:

2019 Fiat 124 Spider production begins in April with cars anticipated arriving in September/October. See your Fiat Dealer for details!

Read more:

2019 Fiat 124 Spider

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