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2017 Fiat 124 Spider revealed

The 2017 Fiat 124 has finally been uncovered at the LA Motor Show in California with these photos showing it really is just a thinly veiled Mazda MX-5…

BUT DON’T LET THAT put you off, because the new Fiat 124 combines Italian good looks with the reliability and design excellence of the new MX-5 with the engine breathed on by the slightly bonkers people at Abarth.

“It’s a hugely exciting time for the Fiat brand both in Australia and globally, with some incredible vehicles joining the line-up,” said FCA Australia President and CEO, Pat Dougherty.

“As we prepare to launch the Fiat 500X in Australia, our Italian colleagues have revealed the next evolution of one of motoring’s most storied nameplates, the Fiat 124 Spider. When Italian design is applied to a two-seat sports car, the result was always going to be special, and the new Fiat 124 Spider doesn’t disappoint.

“And the most exciting part is that this is only the beginning of the Fiat 124 Spider story.”


While you don’t have to squint to see the MX-5 lurking behind the Fiat badge, it’s still possible to make out styling cues from the original Fiat 124. Indeed, Fiat says it fitted new body panels inspired by the original Spider. Front and rear lights are LED with those at the front rounded, while the tail-light housings are rectangular in a nod to the original car. On the inside, the Mazda is easier to spot with the MZD Connect system taking pride of place, see the picture below, although in the Fiat 124 Spider it’s called Fiat Connect 7.0. Hmm.

The engine is an 1.4-litre inline turbocharged petrol making 119kW and 249Nm which gets to the road via either a six-speed manual or an cost-optional six-speed automatic transmission. The Fiat 124 runs a double-wishbone front suspension and a multi-link rear arrangement. It’ll be interesting to see how it performs agains the MX-5.

Pedestrian-friendly “active” bonnet, stability control, traction control and rollover mitigation will be offered as standard. Features such as adaptive headlamps, reversing camera, rain-sensitive wipers, keyless entry ‘n’ go and voice-operated infotainment and navigations systems will be standard or optional dependant on grade.

The Fiat 124 Spider will go on-sale in Europe towards the second-half of next year. We’ll provide local details as soon as they come to hand.

History of the Fiat 124 Spider

The original Fiat 124 Spider debuted at the Turin Auto Show in November 1966. Based on the Fiat 124 sedan and designed and built by Pininfarina, it went on sale in the US in 1968. Powered by a 1438cc twin-cam engine it featured a five-speed manual transmission and four-wheel disc brakes. Sales ceased in Europe in 1975 but continued in the US where, in 1979, it was renamed Spider 2000 in honour of its new 1995cc engine.

Fiat's Mazda MX-5 to be called Fiat 124 Spider

In 1981 Pininfarina took over production and sales in Europe resumed. In 1982, production of FIAT and Pininfarina Spiders overlapped as Fiat built the last Spider 2000 models and Pininfarina began production of its own version, sold in the US as the Pininfarina Spider Azzurra (with leather trim, a stereo cassette player and power windows as standard) and in Europe as the Pininfarina Spidereuropa. Production ended in 1985 and of the almost 200,000 units built, more than 170,000 were sold in the US Today, there are nearly 8000 still registered in the US.

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Isaac Bober

Isaac Bober