By on September 1, 2015

124 Spider_010

Those really keen on the Mazda MX-5, but undeterred by reliability and resale issues are in luck. The reborn Fiat 124 Spider, built upon the fourth-generation MX-5, will be revealed in November at the Los Angeles Auto Show as expected, reports The Detroit Bureau.

Citing a source within the company, the reborn 124 Spider nameplate will be the home of two flavors — normal and Abarth — with the latter receiving the same 1.75-liter, turbocharged, four-cylinder engine as the Alfa Romeo 4C.

While Sergio Marchionne is openly courting General Motors, the Fiat 124 Spider project with Mazda is about to bear fruit.

The “normal” Spider is expected to be powered by the same 1.4-liter, turbocharged, four-cylinder engine found in the Fiat 500 Turbo and Abarth, 500L, 500X and Jeep Renegade. However, it’s the Abarth version that’s far more interesting.

“Abarth is all about performance, and so I’ve told my team to stop working on colors and trims. Any new version of an Abarth car should deliver some sort of a performance enhancement, otherwise it is useless,” said Fiat COO Alfredo Altavilla.

That performance is expected to come from the aforementioned 4C mill mated to a dual-clutch automated manual transmission.

With the Abarth model, Fiat could beat Mazda to the punch. Rumors of a Mazdaspeed version of the newest Miata have been weak at best.

The Fiat 124 Spider will be the first model from the company to wear the nameplate since production and marketing of the Fiat 124 Sport Spider was assumed by Pininfarina in 1983.

The addition to Fiat’s North American lineup is expected to hit dealer lots sometime during the sunny months next year.

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39 Comments on “2017 Fiat 124 Spider Set for November Reveal in Los Angeles...”


  • avatar

    I hope it’s better than the artist impressions I have seen so far.

  • avatar
    watermeloncup

    This could be a really fun car if they are able to keep the handling quality of the Miata. The 1.4L engine from the 500 Abrath has the same amount of horsepower (160hp) as the 2.0L Miata engine, but has a lot more torque (170 lb-ft vs. 148 lb-ft). The 2.0L engine is already enough to go 0-60 in the low 6 seconds, so the Abrath engine should do a bit better and be more responsive at lower RPMs.

    I’m vaguely considering buying the new Miata, but if Fiat offers the 124 with a normal manual transmission, I’d probably buy this instead.

  • avatar
    robc123

    Bet that is how they are going to screw it- paddle shift.

  • avatar
    dal20402

    Will be curious to see how much more the Abarth weighs than a Miata. I’ll bet on 250 pounds.

  • avatar
    NeilM

    So that would be the same 1.7 engine that has inadequate torque and is way too high strung in the 4C, the one that desperately needs to grow up to be a 2.0.

    • 0 avatar
      JMII

      Engine in the 4C is listed as 237 hp @ 6,000 with Torque 258 lb-ft @ 2,200 rpm. Putting that into a Miata sized package would be awesome. If this came in a shooting brake body style I would die. My wife saw an new Miata yesterday and was like… I WANT! Especially in that Soul Red color.

      • 0 avatar
        watermeloncup

        Plus the 2016 Miata is somehow about 100lb *lighter* than the 4C, despite being made of regular steel, being a convertible, and having a nicer interior. Though I’d imagine the 124 will probably gain some weight to handle the extra power.

        Source: http://www.cars.com/go/compare/trimCompare.jsp?acodes=USC50ALC051B0,USC60MAC031C0

  • avatar
    Boff

    Very excited for this car. My piano teacher, Mrs. Schofield, had a 124 Spider when I was a kid. Perhaps that’s where my MILF thing started. Anyway, all I ever wanted to talk about was her 124, and she oddly didn’t want to talk about it at all.

  • avatar
    Speed3

    Sports cars are an endangered species, we should be grateful for every option we get.

  • avatar
    S2k Chris

    237hp Abarth version could finally tempt me out of my S2000 in a way a weak 155hp Miata never could.

  • avatar
    Chan

    Fiat’s resale value in North America should slowly build up as people learn that their modern cars are not any less reliable than other European competitors. Nobody expects them to be Toyota-bulletproof.

    500s and even the turbocharged Abarths are now getting into high mileage and the horror stories have yet to surface.

    Sure, Italian ergonomics still lag behind the industry and they are capable of slipping some serious lemons past QC (there are some strange horror stories with brand-new cars), but Fiat’s biggest problem in the US is its small, ill-prepared dealer network. In major markets like California it’s not so bad, but most of them have struggled to diagnose and fix their cars. Inept dealers mean overloaded corporate customer service, which further irritates owners.

    But I digress…a 230-hp MX-5 would be seriously tasty, even with a Fiat badge on the body.

    • 0 avatar
      28-Cars-Later

      Fiat’s first and main product, 500, does not reflect this.

      Here are some avg condition ones:

      MY12 Fiat 500 Sport

      08/27/15 DFW Regular $8,200 53,732 Avg WHITE 4G A Yes
      08/26/15 STATESVL Regular $7,200 56,164 Avg RED 4G 5 Yes
      08/26/15 SEATTLE Regular $8,300 42,630 Avg SILVER 4G A Yes
      08/26/15 RIVRSIDE Factory $6,000 20,521 Avg GIALLO 4G 5 No
      08/26/15 PITTSBGH Regular $6,400 50,926 Avg RED 4G 5 Yes
      08/26/15 LAKELAND Lease $6,800 53,904 Avg SILVER 4G A Yes
      08/25/15 RIVRSIDE Lease $8,500 25,447 Avg BLUE 4G A Yes

      and clean/extra clean ones:

      08/28/15 PA Regular $9,000 23,978 Above BLACK 4G 5 Yes
      08/27/15 RIVRSIDE Regular $8,900 32,595 Above Green 4G M Yes
      08/26/15 DALLAS Regular $9,000 23,831 Above WHITE 4G A Yes
      08/12/15 TAMPA Regular $10,600 15,644 Above Green 4CY A Yes
      08/05/15 SF BAY Regular $11,100 2,657 Above RED 4G A Yes

      Fiat’s website indicates an MY15 Sport with $2500 in incentives runs 16,1. Avg condition MY12s with 25-50K run 6-8K. Not very good for a 3yo car with avg to above average miles in a 3-3.5 year period.

      That being said I expect a 124 Spider to perform better in the resale department because of the type of product it is, but Fiat isn’t Euro Toyonda in terms of resale.

      • 0 avatar
        Chan

        Right, I was trying to say that the current poor resale value of Fiat cars in the US may change for the better as people start to recognise the brand and demand them in the used market.

        • 0 avatar
          28-Cars-Later

          I disagree but not because I think your point is wrong. Resale is a complicated animal and much of it has to do with willingness/ability to finance and warranties as it does demand for vehicles. A good example is most German cars (which do have a high demand), they have *fantastic* resale till about year four and like clockwork it plummets when the original factory warranties expire.

          Personally I see Fiat 500 as a limited appeal vehicle which was designed and intended for a $120 WTI market. I don’t think the avg person has any desire for one specifically and the ones that do sell new probably sell on price and/or sold in specific markets where tiny cars are desired. Now maybe as word spreads that Fiats are “ok” it might help demand but it will take years if not decades for the information to be widely distributed.

          http://247wallst.com/autos/2015/06/28/new-fiat-to-launch-july-4th-as-u-s-sales-collapse/

          • 0 avatar
            Vulpine

            @28-cars: “I don’t think the avg person has any desire for one specifically and the ones that do sell new probably sell on price and/or sold in specific markets where tiny cars are desired.”

            Well, I won’t argue that my wife isn’t average; she’s six feet tall and desperately wanted a new Beetle, until the NEW new Beetle came out. She took one look at the new Fiat 500 and said, “I want one!” She has it. And I’ve got to say the thing’s a real blast to drive. It now has 11,000 miles on it (a ’14 model) and hasn’t given us a lick of trouble so far. Not even a warranty repair of any kind. It’s quicker than you would expect, even if it’s acceleration is only 8 seconds or so 0-60. And its agility is incredible! At half the price or less over a BMW Mini Cooper, it offers all the fun and almost none of the cost.

            I might add that highway mileage in slightly hilly country comes very, very close to 40mpg. But it’s a lot more fun to drive on rural roads.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            This may not be a question you can answer, but why this model or this type specifically?

          • 0 avatar
            Vulpine

            @28-cars: I assuming you’re asking me, so if I’m wrong, I apologize.

            My wife has always had a thing for very specific models, though she trusts my judgement when it comes to which one to buy. The only ‘big’ car she wants is a ’73 Plymouth Satellite in a very specific color and body configuration. Moreover, a surprising number of vehicles–including full sized pickup trucks, simply don’t give her the leg room she wants behind the wheel. Amazingly, the Fiat 500 (a Pop with the base engine but including the sunroof) gives her more room than she needs–the seat is NOT in its rear-most lock but is something like two clicks in front of it–yet it also moves far enough forward to let me drive it easily with even more room to accommodate short-legged people. It’s interior size is surprising for so small a car.

            So why the Fiat 500 as a make and model? She’s always liked smaller over larger despite her own long-legged height. It’s ‘cute’ and she has dreams of buying eyelashes for it and custom skinning in a rather hippy-like manner though she’s far too young to have lived in the hippy days (though her mother might have been a hippy).

            My point for the car itself is that it is almost nothing like the “Fix-It-Again-Tony” days of the early 70s. This thing is by no means the slow weakling of 60 horsepower and a 3- or 4-speed transmission. It’s handling is tight and there’s no sense of lack of control at any speed I’ve taken it up to (which is well over even freeway speed limits around here.) These people who remember that old reputation seriously need to open their minds to new ideas. I did and found that change can really be a good thing.

      • 0 avatar
        Vulpine

        “Fiat’s website indicates an MY15 Sport with $2500 in incentives runs 16,1. Avg condition MY12s with 25-50K run 6-8K. Not very good for a 3yo car with avg to above average miles in a 3-3.5 year period.”

        I think 50% retention in a 3-year-old car isn’t all that bad; it just sounds bad because it’s so low when compared to more expensive cars typically selling at $25K and more when new. When you look at the “clean/extra clean” models, the numbers come much closer to 70% retention in value.

        • 0 avatar
          28-Cars-Later

          Most leases set buyout terms in the 60-65% range. If the leases are turned in, the leasing company eats the difference. Fifty percent or less in three years for avg condition/miles is nothing to be proud of if you’re still the new kid on the block trying to earn a reputation.

          • 0 avatar
            Vulpine

            Question: At those prices, why even bother with a lease? They’re cheap enough to buy and avoid all the hassles and hidden charges of a lease.

    • 0 avatar
      Rod Panhard

      I hope what you say is true about the mileage rolling up on the Fiats. A friend of mine rented a 500 a few months ago. At 22,000 miles, she thought it was falling apart. She’s used to peculiar cars because her dad was a carguy.

      • 0 avatar
        Chan

        I’ve rented a 500 as well. It had a few rattles, but nothing I wouldn’t expect out of a used, cheap car.

        More importantly, my wife has a 500L that we bought new and is coming up on 20,000 miles. It’s holding up just fine (both in terms of reliability and in wear-and-tear). We plan on keeping it for the long term–I shiver at the thought of trading it in right now.

  • avatar
    LS1Fan

    “Abarth is all about performance, and so I’ve told my team to stop working on colors and trims. Any new version of an Abarth car should deliver some sort of a performance enhancement, otherwise it is useless,”

    Yet another exec who doesn’t get American mainstream car buyers. Colors , trims, and status matter a lot more then performance for the average buyer.

    Not that it’ll be a concern. I predict these hold together for about 40K miles, and then the car will have some major defect which causes it to self destruct at 49,999 miles. In the meantime they’ll spend more time on an FCA service lift then on the road .

    Mazda should cancel the Mazdaspeed Miata, and redirect the R&D money to widening their dealer lots for all the “pre owned” Alfas theyll be taking in trade .

    • 0 avatar
      Krivka

      From what I understand, they are being built in Japan on the same line. I don’t know why they would be more prone to falling apart than the MX-5. Of course using the FCA drivetrains will be a blessing and a curse.

  • avatar
    Fordson

    I think this will be an excellent way to get the wonderful MX-5 platform, goodness and balance, without the fake zen-master BS about how 155 hp is “enough” and people “shouldn’t” want more that Mazda uses to justify their using a leftover economy-car engine in the MX-5.

  • avatar
    Fordson

    I think this will be an excellent way to get the wonderful MX-5 platform, goodness and balance, without the fake zen-master nonsense about how 155 hp is “enough” and people “shouldn’t” want more that Mazda uses to justify their using a leftover economy-car engine in the MX-5.

  • avatar
    Jeff S

    Tony will be busy fixing these things and will need a new set of metric tools.

    • 0 avatar
      moff90

      Hey, did you hear the latest news ? Ford always catch fire when rear ended and Chevys rust as soon as you drive them out of the dealer’s lot. And don’t even get me started on that jap crap, i don’t trust them foreign jobs.

      • 0 avatar
        threeer

        “First Coffee Spew of the Morning” Award goes to Moff! Thanks!

        Hmmm…a Miata with mo’ powah (and perhaps a sexier body) might be interesting. Would have to see what the final product looks like, though as I think the gen 4 Miata is already a pretty nice looker.

      • 0 avatar
        Maymar

        That’s why I’ll only ever drive a Mercedes-Benz from now on – all those letters (especially the Z!) make it harder to come up with a pithy acronym that’s clearly indicative of actual quality.

  • avatar
    Chan

    One concern I have is that since the MX-5 already looks great, the Fiat will sell primarily on Abarth power, unless it ends up looking THAT much better than the Mazda.

  • avatar
    Dave M.

    The 124 was IMO one of the most beautifully designed cars ever. Too bad about the typical Fiat reliability.

    I assume the new one will be much more reliable.

    • 0 avatar
      Vulpine

      @Dave M. May I be so bold as to correct your statement to, “STEREOTYPCAL Fiat reliability”? If Fiat was really so bad, how did the company survive as a corporation for over a hundred years? If Fiat’s products were really so bad, why is it there are fan clubs in the US even today–people in love with those old Fiat cars? And besides; forty years have passed and the Fiat of today is not the Fiat most people remember. The Fiat 500 has surprising performance and agility for being such a tiny car and for me at least, no suggestion of its stereotypical poor reliability. In fact, from what others have said, the Fiat 500 is reaching the mid-decades of an owner’s typical usage (meaning 40-60 thousand miles) with no sign of that old “Fix It Again, Tony” creeping in. I’m quite pleased with my own and my wife absolutely loves it.


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