Abarth 124 Spider races into the record books

24 Oct 2018

World records are a weird thing. People do the daftest, most niche thing just to bag a place in the big Guinness tome, and that’s precisely what the Abarth 124 Spider has done.

The souped-up roadster has just claimed the Guinness world record for the ‘fastest figure of eight, five times between two cars’, clocking at 45.66 seconds.

Behind the wheel was world-renowned stunt driver Alastair Moffatt, who holds multiple world records for precision driving including the ‘tightest reverse parallel park’ and ‘tightest single parallel park’.

Alastair completed the feat during the 2018 Chateau Impney Hill Climb in July, but the achievement has only now been officially recognised by the famous world record organisation.

The vehicle used had no modifications made to the engine, gearbox, chassis or brakes.

Indeed, the only notable change was that the car’s electronic stability program (ESP) was disabled - something virtually every new car is capable of. This allowed the Abarth 124 Spider to be controlled using the handbrake. The tyre pressures were also increased to compensate for the abrasiveness of the surface.

Commenting on his latest successful world record attempt, Alastair said: “It’s wonderful to have set this record. Finding the right vehicle is increasingly important for these record attempts, so the light weight, agility and rear wheel drive of the Abarth 124 Spider made it the perfect choice.”

The Abarth 124 Spider is a cranked-up version of the Fiat 124 Spider, which is itself a rebadged version of the fourth-gen Mazda MX-5. It comes fitted with a 1.4-litre MultiAir Turbo engine with 167bhp.

This is enough power to get it up to 62mph in 6.8 seconds, with a top speed of 144mph. Driven more kindly, the manual model can return 44.1mpg with CO2 emissions of 148g/km.

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