Fiat 124 Spider revealed at LA motor show
Source : Fiat 124 Spider revealed at LA motor show
completely new rear-wheel drive, two-seat convertible returns the Fiat 124 Spider name to showrooms almost 50 years after the original
The completely new rear-wheel drive, two-seat convertible returns the Fiat 124 Spider name to showrooms almost 50 years after the original style was introduced. The completely new edition is actually the product of a joint project between Fiat in addition to also Mazda, in addition to also This kind of shares the same platform as the latest generation of the Mazda MX-5.
Fiat’s offering does not use the Japanese car’s normally aspirated engines, however. The sole engine at launch inside the UK will be a 138bhp type of Fiat’s 1.4-litre MultiAir II petrol motor, offering 177lb ft in addition to also paired having a six-speed manual transmission.
While Fiat has yet to confirm performance figures, sources suggest that will the 0-62mph time could well match that will of the more powerful 2.0-litre MX-5 (7.3sec), since the 124 Spider trumps that will car’s torque yet is actually said to match the kerbweight of the lighter 1.5-litre Mazda.
US-market cars will get a 158bhp type of the 1.4 MultiAir, incidentally, yet there’s no indication yet on whether This kind of will be offered in Europe. Fiat is actually also likely to offer the auto with an automatic transmission inside the US – as Mazda does with the MX-5 – yet This kind of’s unclear if the 124 will be offered in auto form in Europe.
The 124 Spider is actually slightly longer than the MX-5, yet This kind of is actually entirely due to slight increases inside the front in addition to also rear overhangs; the wheelbase of the auto remains the same. All of the main Centeng panels have been changed, yet the windscreen, header rail, manually-operated fabric roof in addition to also the rollover protection are carried over through the Mazda.
The same can be said for the cabin; much more than the outside, This kind of is actually clearly derived through the MX-5’s, with an very similar architecture that will even incorporates a reskinned type of Mazda’s 7in touch-screen infotainment system on higher-end editions.
Fiat has tried to mix elements of the original 124 Spider’s styling into the completely new car’s looks, without This kind of becoming overtly retro. The end result is actually a car that will looks a little more style-focused in addition to also sophisticated than the needle-nosed MX-5. There’s a bluffer front end, incorporating a hexagonal grille in addition to also three-piece LED rings designed to echo the original car’s round headlights. The bonnet incorporates a pair of ‘power domes’ – again, a nod to the later versions of the original 124 Spider.
The flanks have one of the biggest shifts away through the MX-5; instead of that will car’s crease, which falls away towards the back wheels, there’s a pronounced kick up over the rear wheelarch. The rear gets rectangular tail-lights which incorporate reversing lights in their centre – another recent Fiat styling trend – in addition to also in another neat reference to the original car, the Fiat badge is actually mounted on the top of the boot instead of hanging through its vertical edge.
The 124 Spider line-up is actually likely to be bolstered by an Abarth type. This kind of’ll get more aggressive front in addition to also rear bumpers, possible blisters on the wheelarches in addition to also a more powerful type of the MultiAir II engine, with around 170bhp. Following Abarth’s desire to produce more ‘extreme’ vehicles, the hot 124 Spider is actually also likely to get the MX-5’s limited-slip differential as standard, as well as revised spring in addition to also damper settings that will will prioritise agility in addition to also cornering stability over cruising comfort.
Fiat has given no indication on pricing – even the regular car is actually still almost a year away through reaching UK showrooms – yet we’d expect the 124 Spider to be pitched slightly above the MX-5, with entry-level editions costing slightly more than the 1.5 Mazda, at around £19,500.
A short history of the Fiat 124 Spider
1966 The 124 Spider makes its debut at the Turin motor show. Designed by Pininfarina stylist Tom Tjaarda, who worked on the Ferrari 275, the auto goes into production having a 1.4-litre twin-cam motor producing 89bhp. This kind of reaches the US market in 1968.
1970 The first major upgrade to the Spider brings a 1.6-litre engine producing a heady 109bhp – pretty decent for a car that will didn’t weigh much over 900kg.
1973 An Abarth-tuned, 1.8-litre motorsport type of the Spider (backed by a homologation-special production type) wins the Polish in addition to also Acropolis Rallies as Fiat gears up the auto for a full World Rally Championship campaign. This kind of never quite fulfils its potential, though – in addition to also within three years This kind of’s dropped in favour of the 131 Abarth.
1975 Fiat tweaks the Spider to comply with American crash regulations – in addition to also decides that will This kind of’s not worth producing This kind of similarly compatible with European rules, so a decade after launch, the auto becomes a US-only style.
1979 The Spider’s transformation to an American style is actually complete; Fiat does a deal with GM to offer the firm’s three-speed automatic transmission. This kind of also increases the engine size to 2.0 litres in addition to also adjustments the name to Spider 2000.
1980 Fiat switches the 2.0-litre engine over to Bosch fuel injection in addition to also introduces a catalytic converter. This kind of set-up, with 102bhp, is actually designed for the Californian market yet This kind of’s offered as an option across the rest of the US.
1981 A turbocharged type of the Spider is actually sold as a joint development between Fiat USA in addition to also Legend Industries. This kind of brings 120bhp in addition to also a 0-60mph time of under nine seconds, yet many owners subsequently revert their cars back to normally aspirated specification after Fiat’s American dealer network is actually wound down in 1983.
1983 As part of its withdrawal through the American market, Fiat drops the Spider in addition to also hands production over to Pininfarina. The Italian design house brings the auto back to Europe, as well as continuing to sell This kind of inside the US as the Spider Azzura.
1984/1985 The final couple of years of production at Pininfarina add just 4000-odd cars to the total number (taking This kind of to nearly 0,000 units) yet bring the most powerful edition of the Spider Azzura yet, having a supercharged type of the 2.0-litre engine producing 133bhp. the auto’s engine might live on in additional classic Italian cars, though; a further turbocharged development of the unit was used inside the Lancia Delta Integrale.
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