Fair-weather friends

The Courier-Mail - Motoring - - Cover Story -

cylin­der Cooper S hits $45,400 and the per­for­mance-ori­ented John Cooper Works ar­rives in Oc­to­ber priced at $54,900.

ABARTH 124 SPIDER

Italy’s take on the Mazda MX-5, the Spider (pic­tured on cover) gets a 1.4-litre turbo with an on­pa­per per­for­mance ad­van­tage over its Ja­panese cousin. Power is up, from 118kw in the 2.0litre Mazda to 125kW, but more im­por­tantly peak torque, or pulling power, in­creases from 200Nm to 250Nm and ar­rives lower in the rev range.

Off­set­ting that is big­ger body­work and a more spa­cious cabin fit­ted with more gad­gets, which is ex­pected to push the price out to the mid-$40,000 range when the car of­fi­cially goes on sale next month.

In keep­ing with the Abarth her­itage, the 124 Spider is fit­ted with a lim­ited-slip diff, beefedup anti-roll bars, Brembo brakes and Bil­stein dampers.

FORD MUSTANG

Overnight, the Mustang has be­come the most pop­u­lar con­vert­ible in the coun­try but the down­side is there’s a big wait­ing list. The wait for a 5.0-

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