The Fiat 124 Spider has been officially unveiled at the LA Auto Show in California.
Built in collaboration with Mazda, FCA’s version of the Mazda MX-5 is said to be more than just a badge engineering exercise. Fiat says every body panel has been completely redesigned, with inspiration taken from the original 124 Spider.
Overall, the Italian roadster looks more muscular compared to its MX-5 cousin. At the front, it gets a pair of rounded headlights incorporating LED daytime running lights, while the rectangular rear lights are larger as well.
Inside however, the similarities are closer. The 124’s dashboard has been slightly tweaked at the centre but most of the parts are a direct lift from the MX-5, including the infotainment system. It’s now called the Fiat Connect 7.0. Similarly, the roof and its mechanism are from the Mazda parts bin.
While the MX-5 is powered by either a 1.5- or 2.0-litre naturally aspirated four-cylinder engines delivering 96kW/150Nm and 118kW/200Nm, respectively; the Fiat 124 Spider is propelled by a 1.4-litre turbocharged four-cylinder unit producing 119kW and 249Nm of torque. It is paired with either a 6-speed manual or an optional 6-speed automatic transmission.
The Fiat also gets its own unique suspension setup, consisting of a double-wishbone front and a multi-link rear suspension that is said to endow it with a fun to drive character.
The Fiat 124 Spider is produced at the same Mazda factory as the MX-5, possibly making it the most reliable Fiat ever!
Australians will be able to get into one towards the middle of 2016.