More Stickers, Thanks

Photo Credits: Fiat Chrysler

Today, Fiat debuted a resounding update of the 124 Abarth (already a good car) consisting of... absolutely no mechanical changes. Just some new decals. And you know what? I have no problem with this. Decals? Stickers? That’s the good stuff.

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This is the “Scorpion Sting” Appearance Group, and I hope to never hear that phrase uttered in person. Here’s what FCA says direct from its press release, detailing what’s “new” for 2020:

The new Scorpion Sting Appearance Group is available on the Fiat 124 Spider Abarth for $395 U.S. Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price (MSRP). The Scorpion Sting Appearance Group joins a list of other recently introduced options for the Fiat 124 Spider:

  • Record Monza Exhaust on Fiat 124 Spider Abarth models provides unmistakable Abarth growl for $995 MSRP
  • Fiat 124 Spider Abarth Veleno Appearance Group features red exterior mirror caps, red lower fascia lip and red front tow hook, Abarth-branded carpeted floor mats and a bright foot rest for $495 MSRP
  • Custom center-stripe design options, including “Double Rally Stripe” and “Retro Stripe,” available on 2019 model-year Fiat 124 Spider Classica for $295 MSRP

A lot of you may be thinking, hey, decals are actually trash. That’s because you’re thinking of the Nissan Rogue that parks a few streets away from you with what looks like a giant tribal sticker running down its side. That’s not a problem with decals; that’s a problem with society for letting anyone buy a Nissan Kicks.

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No, decals are right and good, particularly on sporty cars, where stripes, stickers, graphics, splashes, and the like made what is ostensibly a fun car—a car for engaging in a fun activity—more fun. Driving needn’t be serious. Even Porsche remembers this every so often, and it’s a strong contender for the most serious car company on the planet. It appears to have sandbagged its own Nürburgring record. That’s not exactly whimsical.

And yet you could still get a gigantic checkered flag down the side of your six-figure GT3 RS just a few years ago.

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Photo: Porsche

See? Serious performance from that car, but not a car that took itself too seriously.

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Look now at, say, the cars that have taken over the drift scene here in America. Look at the cars of Drift Team Animal Style as an example. One of their cars has a sticker of itself on the hood. There is a sticker of the car drifting on the drift car itself. It also has a lion. This is what is in.

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So it’s easy to mock this 124 Abarth for having no more performance, but I won’t begrudge it for having a bit more style.

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Raphael Orlove

Raphael Orlove is features editor for Jalopnik.