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.
Things are weird in the land of two-seater convertibles these days! We’ve Mazdas running around dressed up as Fiats, Japanese cars with turbocharged Italian engines, black is white, up is down, human sacrifice, dogs and cats living together... mass hysteria! It makes me long for a simpler time.
Everybody should start their driving careers in something weighing under 2,200 pounds before buying a Golf GTI, a V6 Camaro, or maybe a BMW M2 if they have a fat enough bank account. Like an MG Midget, for example—if you can fit.
British engineering firm MMI is selling the Avocet sports car program including its design, all data as well as production and intellectual property rights. The car itself is a 1,600 pound mid-engined two-seater. Not a Miata, but close in spirit!
How can an independent Mazda survive to zoom-zoom another day? Alliances. Like, say, loaning its robust roadster tech to the Italian brand that once defined the genre as "fun but flimsy"? Yes, Mazda's inked a deal that could see the next MX-5 become an Alfa Romeo spider, and we couldn't be happier.