How to Choose the Right Aftermarket Performance Exhaust for a Fiat 124 Spider Abarth?

March 31, 2024

Upgrading your car’s exhaust system can provide a significant improvement in performance. This process, however, requires careful consideration, particularly when the vehicle in question is a Fiat 124 Spider Abarth. This Italian classic is renowned for its iconic engine sound, so choosing the correct exhaust system is crucial for maintaining its distinctive character. So, let’s guide you through the process of selecting the right aftermarket performance exhaust for your Abarth.

Understanding the Importance of a Performance Exhaust System

The performance of your Fiat 124 Spider Abarth heavily depends on its exhaust system. An efficient exhaust system ensures optimal engine performance by providing a smooth exit for the combustion gases. When the exhaust flow is unobstructed, the engine can breathe better, enhancing its efficiency and power output.

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Performance exhaust systems go beyond just improving the engine’s power. They also contribute to fuel economy. A well-designed system minimizes back pressure, reducing strain on the engine and consequently, fuel consumption.

Moreover, a performance exhaust can significantly change the sound of your car. With a quality aftermarket exhaust, you can give your Fiat a more aggressive and distinctive growl, enhancing the overall driving experience.

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Finding a Performance Exhaust that Fits Your Vehicle

Ensuring compatibility between the exhaust system and your car is paramount. An exhaust system designed for your exact make and model guarantees a perfect fit. Fiat 124 Spider Abarth has a unique configuration, so not every system will work harmoniously with its architecture.

When choosing an exhaust system, consider the size and layout of your engine, as well as the space available under your vehicle. An oversized system may not fit properly, while an undersized one may not offer the desired performance improvement.

Also, pay attention to the material quality. Stainless steel or aluminized steel exhausts are typically better in terms of durability and resistance to corrosion. Some systems feature ceramic-coated parts, enhancing heat resistance and longevity.

Evaluating the Impact on the Transmission and Suspension

The installation of a performance exhaust system can potentially affect other parts of your car, such as the transmission and suspension. A system that fits poorly can interfere with these components, leading to performance issues or even damage.

Ensure that the system you choose is designed with proper clearances to avoid contact with the transmission or suspension parts. Additionally, it should not add undue weight to your vehicle, which could affect its balance and handling characteristics.

When considering an exhaust upgrade, also take into account any future mods you might have planned. If you intend to upgrade your suspension or transmission later, make sure the exhaust system you choose will still accommodate those changes.

Considering the Interior Experience

While most people focus on how an exhaust system changes the exterior sound of a car, it’s essential not to forget about the interior experience. An excessively loud system might be unbearable inside the car, causing discomfort during long drives.

A performance exhaust system should enhance the sound of your Abarth without creating a deafening roar inside the cabin. Some systems come with adjustable sound levels, allowing you to customize the exhaust note to your liking.

Remember, the goal is to enhance your car’s character, not to turn it into a noise machine. Striking the right balance is key.

Choosing a Reliable Source for Your Products

Once you’ve found the perfect performance exhaust system for your Fiat 124 Spider Abarth, it’s time to make the purchase. But where should you buy the exhaust system?

Many suppliers offer aftermarket exhaust systems, but not all are created equal. Look for a trusted source that offers high-quality products, preferably with a good warranty.

In addition, consider the shipping terms. Some suppliers might offer free shipping, which can significantly reduce the overall cost.

Reputable suppliers often offer installation guides or even professional installation services, making the upgrade process a breeze. Brands like Ragazzon are well-known for their range of exhaust systems specifically designed for Fiat models, and they provide detailed installation instructions with their products.

Finally, don’t forget about customer service. A supplier that offers excellent post-purchase support can be invaluable in case you encounter any issues or need help with installation.

Choosing the right aftermarket performance exhaust for your Fiat 124 Spider Abarth can seem daunting at first. But by considering these factors and taking your time to research, you can find a system that not only improves your car’s performance but also enhances your overall driving experience.

Considering Heat Management and Tuning the Engine

One aspect of installing a new exhaust system that often goes overlooked is heat management. When upgrading to a high-performance exhaust system, the increased exhaust flow can lead to higher under-hood temperatures. This could potentially damage other components in your Fiat Spider, especially those made of plastic or rubber.

To avoid this, it’s crucial to install a quality heat shield or wrap your headers and exhaust pipes. This will help to insulate the heat within the exhaust system and keep it away from sensitive parts of the engine bay. An additional advantage of heat shielding is that it can help to improve the performance of your exhaust system by keeping the gases hot and maintaining exhaust flow.

Next, you might want to consider tuning the engine. When you upgrade your exhaust system, your engine may be capable of producing more power, but the engine control unit (ECU) might not be aware of this. This could lead to a situation where your engine is not taking full advantage of the new exhaust system.

To get the most out of your new exhaust system, consider an ECU tuning or remapping. This process will adjust the engine parameters such as fuel injection, spark timing, and air intake to make the most of the increased exhaust flow. This can result in noticeable improvements in power, torque, and fuel efficiency.

If this sounds daunting, don’t worry. Many reputable tuning companies offer ECU tuning services specifically for the Fiat 124 Spider Abarth, such as Alfa Romeo and Fiat exhaust specialists, Recommended Madness.

Addressing Suspension, Wheels, and Braking

The role of suspension, wheels, and braking in relation to your aftermarket exhaust may not be immediately apparent, but these components can be affected by a new exhaust system.

For instance, a heavier exhaust system might put additional strain on your suspension and wheels. Therefore, it is important to choose a lightweight exhaust system that won’t significantly affect your car’s weight distribution. High-quality performance exhausts are generally made from materials like stainless steel or titanium, which are strong yet light.

Furthermore, the improved performance and speed that come with a new exhaust system necessitate an upgrade of your braking system. As your Fiat Spider becomes more powerful and faster, the stock brakes might not be able to handle the increased speed. Consider investing in high-performance brake pads and rotors to ensure that your Spider Abarth can stop as efficiently as it accelerates.

Remember, it’s not just about enhancing your car’s speed and power. Every upgrade should contribute to a balanced, well-rounded improvement of your Fiat Spider’s overall performance.


Upgrading your Fiat 124 Spider Abarth with the right aftermarket performance exhaust is not just about increasing power and producing a thrilling engine sound. It’s about enhancing every aspect of your driving experience and ensuring your car’s overall performance is optimized.

From understanding the importance of an efficient exhaust system to considering the impact on the transmission and suspension, to heat management and engine tuning, to addressing the implications on suspension, wheels, and braking — every step is crucial.

While the process may seem overwhelming, rest assured that brands like Ragazzon and services like Recommended Madness are there to provide quality products, professional services, and excellent customer support. By doing your research and carefully considering all these factors, you’ll be able to invest in a performance exhaust system that truly brings out the best in your Fiat Spider Abarth.