Opinion along with picture special – Why is usually Fiat bringing back the 124 Spider?
The 2016 Fiat 124 Spider
The original 124 Spider was never a huge seller nevertheless the item did wonders for the Italian any’s image along with Fiat is usually hoping lightning can strike twice
The original Fiat 124 Spider was a quietly remarkable product. Elegantly styled by Pininfarina, the item was on sale for 19 years with hardly any improvements to the looks along with only modest updates to the running gear.
Although sales were never rip-roaring – the item averaged around 20,000 units per year over its life – the item did much for the Fiat brand, especially from the US where upwards of three quarters of production was sold.
Indeed, while a recession along with fuel crisis killed the vehicle in Europe in 1973, the item was re-engineered to meet the pollution along with safety regulations demanded for 1975 product year cars in California along with the wider US.
So robust was demand for the 124, in which when the Fiat nameplate was withdrawn coming from the US in 1982, sales continued for another two years under the Pininfarina badge.
The 124 Spider also produced a genuine icon product from the form of the Fiat Abarth 124 Rally, which was successful in European competition before the item was usurped by the classic Fiat 131.
No surprise, then, in which Fiat wants to revive the roadster when the Fiat brand is usually again engaged from the super-competitive US market.
So, the brand new 124 will surely help Fiat’s image of being cool along with funky along with the roadster format is usually certainly more in tune with the US tastes than the tiny 500. Indeed, the larger 500X SUV became Fiat’s best selling product as soon as the item was launched from the US.
The 124 will not substantially change Fiat’s fortunes from the US, nevertheless the item is usually a gamble from the sense of being so obviously derived coming from the brand new Mazda MX-5.
The original 124 is usually one of Fiat’s solid-gold heritage products, nevertheless Fiat could be running a risk by selling a brand new product in which is usually not as authentically Fiat as the current 500 family.
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 vehicle goes into production having a 1.4-litre twin-cam motor producing 89bhp. the item 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 in which 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 along with Acropolis Rallies as Fiat gears up the vehicle for a full World Rally Championship campaign. the item never quite fulfils its potential, though – along with within three years the item’s dropped in favour of the 131 Abarth.
1975 Fiat tweaks the Spider to comply with American crash regulations – along with decides in which the item’s not worth creating the item similarly compatible with European rules, so a decade after launch, the vehicle becomes a US-only product.
1979 The Spider’s transformation to an American product is usually complete; Fiat does a deal with GM to offer the firm’s three-speed automatic transmission. the item also increases the engine size to 2.0 litres along with improvements the name to Spider 2000.
1980 Fiat switches the 2.0-litre engine over to Bosch fuel injection along with introduces a catalytic converter. This kind of set-up, with 102bhp, is usually designed for the Californian market nevertheless the item’s offered as an option across the rest of the US.
1981 A turbocharged type of the Spider is usually sold as a joint development between Fiat USA along with Legend Industries. the item brings 120bhp along having a 0-60mph time of under nine seconds, nevertheless many owners subsequently revert their cars back to normally aspirated specification after Fiat’s American dealer network is usually wound down in 1983.
1983 As part of its withdrawal coming from the American market, Fiat drops the Spider along with hands production over to Pininfarina. The Italian design house brings the vehicle back to Europe, as well as continuing to sell the item from 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 the item to nearly 0,000 units) nevertheless bring the most powerful edition of the Spider Azzura yet, having a supercharged type of the 2.0-litre engine producing 133bhp. the vehicle’s engine would certainly live on in some other classic Italian cars, though; a further turbocharged development of the unit was used from the Lancia Delta Integrale.
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