By on August 24, 2016

2017 Fiat 124 Spider Classica

Fiat believes it can attract more buyers to the brand by offering a fixed-roof version of the 124 Spider.

According to Autocar, a coupe version of the recently released roadster is under development, and could make its appearance next year.

The report states that Fiat doesn’t plan to go the Mazda MX-5 RF route and offer a retractable hardtop (or fastback, in the case of the Miata). This would be a simple coupe, but not a fixed hardtop like past roadster conversions we’ve seen. The rear of the car would see a redesign to accommodate the roofline, the report claims.

Sources tell Autocar that the trunk opening will likely remain where it is, as a large-scale reconfiguration would be too costly for the struggling automaker.

Fiat sales are falling, especially in North America, and turning one product into two could help the brand boost its appeal and squeeze out a few more sales. Brand-wide volume tumbled 14 percent in the U.S. in July, while the Spider recorded 480 sales in its first full month on the market. It remains to be seen just how popular the 124 Spider will be, and how long it can sustain interest.

A fixed-roof 124 variant, which will probably ditch the “Spider” name in favor of “Coupe,” would allow the automaker to bolster its sporting credentials, which is something it’s already trying desperately to do. (Track school, anyone?)

There’s no word yet on drivetrain offerings, though in North America it’s safe to assume the existing 124 drivetrains will carry over. Also unknown is whether Fiat plans to offer regular and Abarth version of the coupe.

[Image: Fiat Chrysler Automobiles]

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32 Comments on “Fiat Considering a Coupe Version of the 124 Spider: Report...”


  • avatar
    SCE to AUX

    Hmm. I like that idea, since I’m not a convertible fan.

    • 0 avatar
      White Shadow

      Put the retractable fastback from the Miata on an Abarth version of the car. Bump up the boost pressure, put some wider low profile rubber on it, drop it down just an inch or so, paint it black with the red accents and striping, add exhaust tips on both sides of the car,and of course make it a six speed manual. Now that’s a Fiat that could interest me.

  • avatar
    ajla

    I’d only really care it they went with a targa roof.

    • 0 avatar
      redav

      That’s what I wish the Miata RF was. The buttresses are always there, so why have them move & not provide much structural benefit? Why have all the weight from moving parts?

  • avatar
    JohnTaurus_3.0_AX4N

    Sounds like they’re reading my mind. I already love the 124’s styling compared to Miata, and I’d much prefer a coupe to the roadster.

    Very interesting! Can’t wait to see it. Why Mazda hasn’t produced a true coupe version thus far is beyond me.

    • 0 avatar
      carlisimo

      They reportedly considered it during the second generation, even built a prototype or three, but some of the team were worried that a successful coupe would get the convertible version killed off.

      • 0 avatar
        JohnTaurus_3.0_AX4N

        Ahh, that being the case, a differently styled 3 door, two seater hatch with a different name. MX-2? What should’ve been the MX-3?

        Imagine a Mazda RWD Miata-based replacement for the Honda CRX, which tragically left us in 1991 (year after Miata debuted) and would be been amazing all RWD and based on Miata. In one form, an economy car that is RWD and handles great. Easy pick over, say, a two door basic Golf, something semi-sporty like that. A price-class above 323, Sundance or Escort.

        Perfect rwd solo commuter car that doesn’t have a noisy, leaky, easily broken into soft top.

        Put Miata’s engine/trans at the next highest level, with better interior, etc.

        Sport: That tiny V-6 they put in the real MX-3 in RWD form.

  • avatar
    TMA1

    Finally, the turbo-charged coupe that everyone says they wanted. So long, Toyobaru twins.

    Also, these autoplay videos are absolutely brutal. Is someone paying to put this low-res garbage on TTAC? I especially enjoy the way they start playing again, 5 seconds after I hit the pause button.

    • 0 avatar
      Pete Zaitcev

      Hachiroku offers a useful cargo and passenger capacity, so it’s not the same thing. You’d have to pull a trailer if you want to carry your track tires to the track in MX-5/F124.

      Also, about:config — media.autoplay.enabled = false.

  • avatar
    Pete Zaitcev

    This sounds quite interesting. My better half took an elevated interest in MX-5, but she was uncertain about the cloth roof.

  • avatar
    LIKE TTAC.COM ON FACEBOOK

    After the hardtop coupe, Fiat will see sales begin to fall… and will come out with a new version with a barn door trunk lid, then an electric Spider 124e, followed by a five door version, then a 4WD mini-SUV 124 with 20 inch wheels and a roof rack.
    This all in an attempt to poach sales from the Mini. The final gasp will be a “dune buggy” version of the Spider, complete with large white fived-spoke wheels, off-road tires, foglights, oversized fiberglass fenders and a vertical rear “smokestack” exhaust pipe.

    • 0 avatar
      Louis XVI

      It might work! I absolutely adore my Mini convertible, but the current generation doesn’t appeal to me at all. When my car eventually wears out, I intend to take a serious look at the 124 (convertible version, of course).

  • avatar
    olddavid

    Fiat is doomed. I read this morning that the Italian banking system has 20% non performance in their loan portfolio. Its tough to make a profit with half of that. They used to cope by devaluing the lire- a mechanism unavailable today. The signs do not bode well for Marchionne and company. Too bad. I really was hoping they had figured something out that had eluded their predecessors. I wonder if Chrysler could stand alone in the current market?

    • 0 avatar
      heavy handle

      Can you elaborate? I’m not sure I understand how the performance of Italian banks affects FCA which sells cars on all continents except Antarctica. I guess it could restrict sales in the Italian market (which has been booming), but one big facet of the FCA strategy was to make them more geographically diversified.

      • 0 avatar
        olddavid

        You make a good point. Perhaps I am not giving them enough credit for imagination, but any difficulties in the home markets would have to affect their performance. I have the institutional memory of many dealers who got into bed with the Agnelli family and none of them came out in the black. That is a hard track record to live down, especially in view of their declining fortunes and failure to meet their goals. Add that to the building improvement requirements that were foisted upon them and most are probably not making any profit overall. My young son tells me I am a pessimist, but the old “fool me once…” adage comes to mind.

  • avatar
    Kendahl

    Back in the 1960s, there were both convertible and coupe versions of the 124. I drove a first generation RX-7 for more than twenty years. This would be the Miata coupe Mazda has never wanted to build. I like the Miata but, with spring-to-fall pollen allergies, my sinuses don’t. I view the Toyobaru twins as the coupe alternative to the Miata.

  • avatar
    philadlj

    ‘More buyers to the brand’, eh? How many more, TWELVE?!

    I do believe Fiat USA has surpassed VW USA in sheer product cluelessness.

    And if the Eos wasn’t a hardtop convertible, VW would have probably spent $1 billion making it into one for an extra 67 sales.

    If Fiat wants to attract more buyers in the US, the sad truth is they’ll need to offer longer, taller, roomier, less weird models.

    In other words, Toyotas.

  • avatar
    tjh8402

    I’m gonna go wish on a star that it’s some sort of breadvan hatchback. I have a 500 Abarth and I use all of its (seats folded) 30 cubic feet of cargo space and then some. I would love to get at least that sort of space in a RWD chassis, making that sort of 124 the perfect replacement for my car. Those who want a fun to drive fuel efficient RWD chassis that has good versatile cargo space have nowhere to go right now

  • avatar
    Varezhka

    If they actually do go ahead with this, I hope it will sell better than the Chrysler Crossfire or the Pontiac Solstice Coupe. I mean, I know it’s a lot better car underneath, but I can’t imagine there to be a very big audience for a fixed roof conversion of a 2-seat convertible.

    I’m also curious how well the overall execution would be. As a current Mx-5 retractable hardtop (NC, 2008) owner, I hope it will have more sound insulation to avoid the same “sitting inside a drum” feel top-up. I also remember the JDM Mazda Roadster Coupe (NB) with fixed hardtop (2004?) was criticized for feeling “too stiff” with the fixed roof that ruined the overall balance/feel of the car, though it apparently did improve the performance limit of the car.

  • avatar
    jasoncarguyisajohndeerefan

    Say that’s a cute little car, I love it!

  • avatar
    1audiofile

    The simple solution is to build a detachable hard top. But the real reason they want to do a coupe version is because the body is cheaper to build since it does not have to be as strong as the convertible. BAD IDEA. BUILD THE HARD TOP YOUCAN REMOVE AND CHARGE FOR IT AS AN OPTION.

  • avatar
    Lorenzo

    GM, Ford, and old Chrysler in the 1960s would have designed a coupe along with the drop top from the get-go, and made both available the first year of production. You can give FCA a bit of a break in that development wasn’t entirely in their control, but somebody in sales/marketing would have brought it up very early in the joint design process. That’s assuming FCA had any real input to begin with, and that might be a questionable assumption.

  • avatar
    28-Cars-Later

    Note to Fiat on the 124: needs more HELLCAT.

    • 0 avatar
      FreedMike

      If someone starts posting things like

      MULTIAIR TIGERSHARK

      Does that make him Small Trucks Series Review?

      • 0 avatar
        wumpus

        Funny thing is, if a 4 cylinder engine fits in a longitudinal engine, so will a V-8. And if they [mazda, don’t know about fiats] have to make a one-off engine for miata, why don’t they make the engine a V-8 that can be sliced in half for the base model?

        But it really is hard to argue with their relentless sticking to the British sports car recipe: Miatas are still made. They have had plenty of competition over the years, but they aren’t made. Changing the car could easily kill it.

  • avatar
    GabIta

    I feel like highly unprobable a coupé version coming. Coupé market is almost dead in Italy / Europe, and a specific model just for a slice of US market may not be profitable. Consider also that the chassis is not produced by Fiat (ok,officially is co-produced with Mazda, but we know who really did the 90% of the job :D …), so any modification so deep would be quite difficult, both technically and maybe for the mild opposition of Mazda, that still has its burns to soothe for not having got the highselling “abarth” engine).
    Furthermore, there is a big legacy regarding Fiat Coupé (I think it never landed on your shores https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fiat_Coup%C3%A9) that can not be inherit just adding a roof to a spider.

  • avatar
    rpol35

    Neat idea but I hope they have done their target marketing analysis carefully and know their bottom $$$ capital investment. I have to believe the market for such a car would be pretty limited.

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