The 2017 Fiat 124 Abarth wasn’t included un Motor Trend’s list of Best Driver’s Car finalists, but it can still lay claim to the unofficial ‘Best of the Rest’ designation after having won the publication’s Best Driver’s Car ‘Leftovers’ test.
The ‘Leftovers’ consisted of all the cars that MT tested for Best Driver’s Car but didn’t make its top 12 countdown, including the Ford Focus RS, BMW M2, Chevrolet Camaro 1LE V6, Porsche Cayman S, Toyota GT86 and the aforementioned 124 Abarth. The vehicles were rounded up at Willow Springs for a track test with pro driver Randy Pobst at the wheel and somewhat surprisingly, it was the little Abarth that came out on top.
MT appreciated the Abarth’s gimmick-free approach to driving. A four-cylinder turbocharged engine, manual transmission, rear-wheel drive and a simple folding convertible soft top make the Fiat a cheap and simple way to enjoy yourself on both the road and the racetrack. MT found its composed Mazda-sourced chassis to be confidence inspiring on the track and appreciated the more stiffly sprung suspension setup Fiat applied to the ND Miata platform.
Click here to read MT’s full ‘Leftovers’ rundown and see how the 124 Abarth beat out some of the most well-received sportscars on sale today in the group comparison test.