You may not look at the Mazda Miata-based Fiat 124 Spider and say, “Viva l’italia!” But why would you? It’s a Japanese car sold by an Italian-American company. But when I drove one for the first time, something strange happened. I think I found the automotive embodiment of myself: energetic, easy to beat up, made here…
What does one look for in a city car? Good visibility, ease of parking and at least some general zippiness, I would assume. Massive amounts of horsepower, probably not. Curiously, though, the concepts of a “city car” and “Fiat 124 Spider” didn’t merge until I was done driving it in decidedly un-city places.
Perhaps the lone upside of the new Fiat 124 Spider feeling about as Italian as an Edamame Soybean Kit-Kat is that it will inevitably benefit from the ridiculously extensive Mazda MX-5 aftermarket. Naturally, that includes Flyin’ Miata’s V8 conversions. Why? Because tires are evil and must be punished, that’s why.
Here’s a perplexing recipe: take what may be the best all-around pure sports car of the modern era. Add seemingly arbitrary touches, like a thicker steering wheel and new door handles. Give it a turbo engine, but don’t give it that much extra power. Make the suspension a whole lot softer. And make it Italian, but…
When I first saw the Fiat 124 Abarth R-GT rally car, I figured it was another one of those concepts that’s a makeup-and-stickers fantasy. The sort of thing a car company does when it wants to say “we could do this if we were awesome, which we are not.” But holy crap, it’s real. It’s been testing. And it is glorious.
Sunshine! Wind! People who hate those things may say they are problems in the Fiat 124 Spider, lovingly known as the Fiata. But no more, because a coupe might be on the way!
The 2017 Fiat 124 Spider is the best of all worlds; it has Italian design and performance with Japanese engineering. Our man Ballaban says it’s even better than the Miata. But I wouldn’t rush down to my local Fiat store right away, and here’s why.
When we first heard that the 2017 Fiat 124 Spider would be getting the engine out of the 500 Abarth, we were excited, to say the least. But when we first heard its engine note, we were disappointed it wasn’t as, well, Abarthy as we expected. But it turns out that there’s an Abarth version of the Spider, too, and holy…
Raph and I might be the only ones who appreciate that the Fiat 124 Spider press photos are goofy retro throwbacks to the original 124 Spider’s stock photos. But I hope Fiat Chrysler knows that it’s appreciated.
You may think you know everything about the 2016 Fiat 124 Spider, thanks to its damn-near-perfect Mazda Miata heritage, but you don’t. So take a tour of the car with us live, right now.
Supercars and their fancy carbon fiber engine covers be damned, we have a clear winner here in the name of Abarth’s 300hp four cylinder rally car.
Fiat claims it will race this 300 horsepower, rear-drive Abarth 124 hardtop in 2017. Don’t you dare lie to me, Fiat. This car is too good and my heart is too tender.
Fiat turned the regular 2017 Fiat 124 Spider into an Abarth 124 Spider with 170 horsepower, a mechanical LSD, Brembo brakes, Bilstein dampers and a loud exhaust, and while they were at it, the performance brand also rolled out a rally version for Geneva. Oh hell yeah.
We managed to snag a listen to the exhaust note of the 2017 Fiat 124 Spider last night, but it was just for a few seconds, and we didn’t get to hear much. But, incredibly long and convoluted and frightfully boring story short, we managed to follow it up a bit later with a much better glimpse into what a Mazda Miata…
The 2017 Fiat 124 Spider is basically a Miata with a Fiat 500 Abarth engine. But does the 124 sound as good as the 500? We (kinda sorta) found out.