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So robust was demand for the 124, that will when the Fiat nameplate was withdrawn by the US in 1982, sales continued for another two years under the Pininfarina badge.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