Fiat is no stranger to the Guinness World Record book. In 2015, the company completed the tightest parallel parking job with a 500 supermini. And again in 2017, it delivered a record number of cars to customers at one go: 1,495 of them. But now the Italian automaker is in the record books again, this time for the fastest figure eight, behind the wheel of the 124 Spider Abarth.
It took just 45.66 seconds for a stock Fiat 124 Abarth to complete five figure eights between two cars. The record-breaking attempt took place at the 2018 Chateau Impney Hill Climb in July with stunt driver Alastair Moffatt behind the wheel. Only this week, though, did Guinness officially put it in the record book.
"It's wonderful to have set this record!" said Moffatt. "Finding the right vehicle is increasingly important for these record attempts, so the lightweight, agility, and rear wheel drive of the Abarth 124 spider made it the perfect choice."
The Fiat 124 Abarth that broke the record was completely stock; the rear-drive roadster used the same setup that came from the factory. Underhood was its standard 1.4-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine, producing 164-horsepower (119 kilowatts), with the ability to sprint to 60 miles per hour (96 kilometers per hour) in just 6.3 seconds.
"We congratulate Alastair on his remarkable achievement," said Gerry Southerington for Abarth U.K. "We don't recommend that people attempt such amazing stunts in public, but it's good to know that the Abarth 124 spider is incredibly maneuverable in the hands of a trained professional."
For 2019, the Fiat 124 Abarth gains a new dual-mode exhaust tip that pumps up the volume even more. Power from the 1.4-liter turbocharged engine, though, remains at 164 hp. A Veleno Appearance package – which adds things like a red front-tow-hook cover, red mirror caps, and red trim to the center of the lower-front fascia – is also new for 2019.
Gallery: Fiat 124 Abarth World Record
Abarth is celebrating achieving a new Guinness World Record after one of its 124 spider models achieved the 'fastest figure of eight, five times between two cars' in 45.66 seconds.
At the wheel of the completely standard car was world-renowned stunt driver Alastair Moffatt. The record was set during the 2018 Chateau Impney Hill Climb in July this year, but has only now been officially recognised by the famous world record organisation.
Alastair executed the astonishing manoeuvre of a figure of eight, sliding neatly between two other Abarth 124 spiders, five times in succession.
The vehicle used had no modifications made to the engine, gearbox, chassis or brakes. The car's electronic stability program (ESP) was also turned off to allow the Abarth 124 spider to be controlled using the handbrake, and the tyre pressures were increased to compensate for the abrasiveness of the surface.
Alastair, a Master Instructor at Stunt Drive UK, holds multiple Guinness World Records for precision driving including the 'Tightest Reverse Parallel Park' and 'Tightest Single Parallel Park'.
Commenting on his achievement, he noted, "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."
Gerry Southerington for Abarth UK commented, "We're delighted that Alastair chose the Abarth 124 spider for this record attempt. Abarth have a long history of setting records in the past and it's great to have added a new one.
"We congratulate Alastair on his remarkable achievement. We don't recommend that people attempt such amazing stunts in public, but it's good to know that the Abarth 124 spider is incredibly maneuverable in the hands of a trained professional."
The Abarth 124 spider is fitted with a 1.4 MultiAir Turbo 170hp engine reaching 62mph in 6.8 seconds and a maximum speed of 144mph while returning a combined cycle and emitting 148g/km CO2 for the manual.
The 1.4 MultiAir Turbo engine has a combined cycle of 44.1mpg for the manual and 42.8mpg for the automatic.