2017 Fiat 124 Spider Set For 2016 Showroom Arrival
For those who want their 2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata to have a more Italian flair, the 2017 Fiat 124 Spider will hit showrooms in 2016.
Prior to being unloaded from many a container, the 124 Spider will make its global debut at either Frankfurt or Los Angeles later this year, reports Edmunds.
According to Fiat Brand for North America boss Jason Stoicevich, the roadster would not be a rebadge of the Miata, proclaiming Fiat would put its own style on the model once offered to Alfa Romeo. Parent company FCA later decreed that all Alfas would be designed and engineered in the brand’s native Italy, shuffling the 124 Spider off to Fiat in so doing.
Power is expected to come from Fiat’s 1.4-liter four-cylinder, while pricing and passenger configuration — 2+2 or two-passenger — are among the mysteries left unsolved for now. Both the Spider and the Miata will be assembled at Mazda’s facility in Hiroshima, Japan.
Once stateside, it will be the crown jewel for Fiat’s U.S. lineup — currently consisting of the 500, 500e, 500L and 500X — while competing against the MINI Cooper Roadster, Porsche Boxster, and the aforementioned Miata.
[Photo credit: Rex Gray/ Flickr]
While I can appreciate the return of the Spider (even if it basically ends up as a rebadge), not sure how Fiat is going to thrive in the US offering niche after niche model. And trying to establish AR as a competitor to the Germans is going to be a tough, tough road. Marchionne really has to thank the gods for letting Chrysler (and more specifically Jeep) fall into his lap.
I am quite sure I would never buy a Fiat. I am a Miata lover and would see zero reason to buy the Fiat over the Miata. With 1 exception... If they do nothing but put the Abarth motor and that exhaust on the car, I will head to whatever Fiat dealer is in my area and put that in the garage instead. I am continually blown away by how unbelievably good that 500 Abarth sounds. That's how I want my Miata to sound. Just incredible, especially for a puny 4 cyl.
The modern 500 seems to be holding up quite well in reliability. The interiors aren't great, but they sure have some cute quirks and ergonomic niggles that would not pass in, say, a Corolla. The Abarth is probably the best fun-per-dollar bargain available in the States, partly due to the steep discounts available at US dealers. No tiny little city car has the right to sound that naughty, and the fact that it's Italian (at least in concept) somehow makes it all acceptable!
While I think the NA 1.4 would be adequate for Europe, I don't see it flying in the US. The standard 500 is adequate, but no more. A 2 seat sports car will have to turn in more than adequate performance, so I would imagine the 1.4 Abarth spec motor will be the engine of choice. It will at least allow the Fiat to match the Miata's performance. As others have said, I just hope it sounds as good as my Abarth. That is a proper sports car noise. Would be awesome if it offers the same great warranties that the rest of the Fiat line up offers. Can't be a lifetime unlimited mileage bumper to bumper one.