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 yet the item did wonders for the Italian a new’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 adjustments 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 inside US where upwards of three quarters of production was sold inside US.
Indeed, while a recession along with fuel crisis killed the automobile in Europe in 1973, the item was re-engineered to meet the pollution along with safety regulations demanded for 1975 type year cars in California along with the wider US.
So robust was demand for the 124, in which when the Fiat nameplate was withdrawn by the US in 1982, sales continued for another two years under the Pininfarina badge.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 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 inside 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 type as soon as the item was launched inside US.
The 124 will not substantially change Fiat’s fortunes inside US, yet the item is usually a gamble inside sense of being so obviously derived by the brand new Mazda MX-5.
The original 124 is usually one of Fiat’s solid-gold heritage designs, yet Fiat could be running a risk by selling a brand new type in which is usually not as authentically Fiat as the current 500 family.
A short history of the Fiat 124 Spider
The 124 Spider makes its debut at the Turin motor show. Designed by Pininfarina stylist Tom Tjaarda, who worked on the Ferrari 275, the automobile goes into production having a 1.4-litre twin-cam motor producing 89bhp. the item reaches the US market in 1968.
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.
An Abarth-tuned, 1.8-litre motorsport variation of the Spider (backed by a homologation-special production variation) wins the Polish along with Acropolis Rallies as Fiat gears up the automobile 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.
Fiat tweaks the Spider to comply with American crash regulations – along with decides in which the item’s not worth doing the item similarly compatible with European rules, so a decade after launch, the automobile becomes a US-only type.
The Spider’s transformation to an American type 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 adjustments the name to Spider 2000.
Fiat switches the 2.0-litre engine over to Bosch fuel injection along with introduces a catalytic converter. This specific set-up, with 102bhp, is usually designed for the Californian market yet the item’s offered as an option across the rest of the US.
A turbocharged variation 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, yet many owners subsequently revert their cars back to normally aspirated specification after Fiat’s American dealer network is usually wound down in 1983.
As part of its withdrawal by the American market, Fiat drops the Spider along with hands production over to Pininfarina. The Italian design house brings the automobile back to Europe, as well as continuing to sell the item inside US as the Spider Azzura.
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) yet bring the most powerful edition of the Spider Azzura yet, having a supercharged variation of the 2.0-litre engine producing 133bhp. the automobile’s engine might live on in additional classic Italian cars, though; a further turbocharged development of the unit was used inside Lancia Delta Integrale.
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