By: Jason Woosey
Fiat is reviving its 124 Spider after almost 50 years with this brand new creation based on the latest Mazda MX-5.
Incidentally, parent company Fiat Chrysler was going to use this outsourcing deal to resurrect the Alfa Romeo Spider but CEO Sergio Marchionne reportedly, well ... just changed his mind.
While the similarity to its Japanese donor car is rather clear in the car's external shape and in the cabin, Fiat has put its own unique style stamp on the front and rear ends. At the front end, it ditches the Mazda's more aggressive look for a softer and somewhat bug-eyed face that harks back to the original 124 Spider.
Fiat has also dropped its own engine beneath the bonnet, in the form of Fiat's own 1.4-litre MultiAir turbopetrol engine rated at 119kW and 250Nm, powering the rear wheels, of course, through either a six-speed manual or six-speed automatic gearbox. Performance division Abarth will also release a version of the 124 Spider and you can certainly expect it to be more powerful.
The Mazda MX-5 is motivated by a 118kW/200Nm normally aspirated 2-litre.
The Fiat roadster also has pretty decent suspension, with a double-wishbone set-up doing service up front and a multi-link axle at the back.
The Fiat is available with plenty of gadgets, including Rear Cross Path Detection, blind spot monitoring and Fiat's Connect 7.0 infotainment system with an 18cm touch-screen. A nine-speaker Bose sound system is also available.
Our contact at Fiat SA says the company is considering the 124 Spider and the upcoming Abarth version for local release around mid-2016, but it’s unlikely that both versions will be released here.