Fiat's 124 Spider Reaches the End of the Road in 2020

Jason R. Sakurai
by Jason R. Sakurai
fiat s 124 spider reaches the end of the road in 2020

Fiat’s 124 Spider is about to receive its curtain call, and unlike the scene in Don Giovanni where Don meets a horrendous fate and is dragged off to hell, the Fiat 124 Spider is going out without emotion and little fanfare.

In a press release, FCA Group said, “The Fiat 124 Spider and the Fiat 500L will be discontinued after the 2020 model year,” thus ending the four-year run for the front-engine, rear-drive, two-place roadster manufactured in Japan by Mazda, alongside the MX-5 Miata at their Hiroshima plant, as reported by Roadshow.

Nostalgia being what it was, FCA revived the 124 name and with it the Pininfarina design cues of the original Fiat 124 Sport Spider, which was manufactured from 1966 to 1985. In 2012, FCA’s Alfa Romeo subsidiary and Mazda announced a joint venture to produce a common rear-drive platform with two distinctly different powertrains and bodies that would be unique to each brand.

With the late FCA chairman Sergio Marchionne decreeing in 2014 that Alfas could only be made in Italy, FCA switched their roadster to the Fiat brand, bringing it to market in 2016 as the Fiat 124 Sport using the Mazda MX-5 Miata’s drivetrain and chassis. Powered by a 1.4-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine with 160 horsepower and 184 lb-ft of torque, the car never quite caught on with sports car enthusiasts, trailing the MX-5s sales during its lifespan.

Neither penne arrabbiata nor a tasty udon, the Fiat 124 Sport’s struggles to find an audience are over.

“For the 2021 model year, the Fiat lineup will feature the Fiat 500X crossover, which offers unique and functional Italian design, standard all-wheel-drive capability, 9-speed automatic transmission, 30 mpg highway and best-in-class 210 lb-ft of torque,” Fiat said.

[Images: FCA]

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  • El scotto El scotto on Dec 29, 2020

    Why do i believe that somewhere, deep in the bowels of the FCA building in Auburn Hills there are a couple of 24-Spiders with hemis? The Mopar guys run that way. Send some hemi's to Japan, send the modern Shelby's back to America. I honestly don't know if FCA could stuff a hemi in a Spider but I like the idea. For about 45K. Or a Pentastar for about 40K. Just use a Ram engine in the Spider.

  • Figaro1991 Figaro1991 on Dec 30, 2020

    I owned a 500 Abarth hatchback for a few years and actually never needed any warranty work. It always put a smile on my face and worked great as a daily driver. I also leased an Alfa Giulia and loved it. I don't work for FCA, I just really like Alfa Romeos and figured I would do my little part to support them. That said, Fiat really botched their US marketing. Their product mix was always screwed up. When they launched the 500 back in 2012, for example, they brought over far too many expensive loaded automatics but were selling every cheap manual they could get... so their inventory languished. The 500 was a fun little $16k runabout but at $20k+ didn't make any sense. The 124, similarly, follows the typical Chrysler playbook of automatic-heavy production, but people don't buy 2-seat sports cars for commuting boredom. The one posted above that's 2 years old and still new in inventory has an auto trans. Toss in a mediocre and sparse dealer network for Fiat that are usually sharing space with a Chrysler/Jeep showroom more focused on selling Jeeps than European imports, and you just don't have a recipe for success, sadly. I have owned two Miatas in the past, one for more than 12 years, and love them for what they are and never wanted more power. I like the styling of the 124 a lot and think the 1.4 Turbo is a good engine, but am just not in a place in life right now where a 2-seater makes much sense.

  • Tassos And all 3 were ordered by Fisker's mother. Seriously, given Fisker's terrible record of Failure in the past, only an utter loser, (for example, VGhost or Art Vandelay?), looking for a BEV terrible enough to be a proper replacement of his 11 mile range Fiat 500E, would order one of these. (apart from Fisker's mother)
  • Tassos And all 3 of them were ordered by Fisker's mother.Seriously, after Fisker's DISMAL record of UTTER FAILURE in the past, only a GOD DAMNED MORON would order this one.
  • RHD Any truth to the unconfirmed rumor that the new, larger model will be called the bZ6X? We could surmise that with a generous back seat it certainly should be!
  • Damon Thomas Adding to the POSITIVES... It's a pretty fun car to mod
  • GregLocock Two adjacent states in Australia have different attitudes to roadworthy inspections. In NSW they are annual. In Victoria they only occur at change of ownership. As you'd expect this leads to many people in Vic keeping their old car.So if the worrywarts are correct Victoria's roads would be full of beaten up cars and so have a high accident rate compared with NSW. Oh well, the stats don't agree.