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Fiat 124 Spider (2016)

The Fiat 124 Spider (Type 348), is a front-engine, rear-drive, two-passenger roadster manufactured by Mazda for FCA over a single generation. The 124 debuted at the 2015 LA Auto Show for model year 2016, with production reaching just over 41,000 for model years 2016-2020.

Largely based on the fourth-generation Mazda MX-5 roadster, and manufactured alongside the MX-5 at Mazda's Hiroshima plant, the 124 shares its platform, mechanicals, interior and top mechanism with the MX-5 — it is distinguished by an FCA engineered and manufactured turbocharged Multiair engine, uniquely tuned shock absorbers, unique exterior styling and nominally increased length and cargo capacity over the MX-5.

The 124 nameplate and exterior styling details recall the Pininfarina-designed Fiat 124 Sport Spider, manufactured from 1966 to 1985.


In May 2012, Mazda and Alfa Romeo — at the time a subsidiary of the Fiat Group, now Stellantis — announced a joint venture to manufacture a common rear wheel drive platform. The companies would "develop two differentiated, distinctly styled, iconic and brand specific, lightweight roadsters featuring rear wheel drive", with the two variants offering proprietary engines unique to each brand.

In December 2014, FCA's Sergio Marchionne determined Alfa Romeos would be manufactured only in Italy, saying "some things belong to a place. Alfa belongs to Italy," adding "I remain committed to that architecture, with our powertrain. I'm not sure it will be with Alfa. But it will be with one of our brands." At the time, Alfa Romeos were manufactured only in Italy, while Fiats were manufactured in Italy, but also globally — from Tychy, Poland, to Toluca, Mexico.

With their prior agreement in place — for FCA to market a roadster based on the MX-5 to be manufactured by Mazda at its Hiroshima factory — FCA conceived of marketing a Fiat badged variant in lieu of the Alfa Romeo variant. In August 2016, FCA formally announced the Fiat 124 Spider based on the Mazda ND platform.

In December 2016, the Detroit News said "in partnering with Mazda’s MX-5 Miata to resurrect the classic Fiat 124 Spider, Fiat Chrysler not only gained a halo sports car for its struggling Italian brand, but likely saved the most celebrated small sports car of the past 25 years (the MX-5)" — citing the markedly increased cost of developing a new car at the time and "the costliest wave of government regulation since the 1970s."

In January 2019, FCA announced the Fiat 124 Spider was to be withdrawn from the market in the United Kingdom with immediate effect. The Abarth 124 Spider continued to be sold, but this too was withdrawn from the UK market in April 2019.

On December 23, 2020, Stellantis announced the 124 Spider and 500 were to be withdrawn from their North American model lineup after the 2020 model year and would not return for 2021, as is the situation with 500L. These models were expected to sell into 2021 until stock depletion.


The 124 Spider was powered by Fiat's 1.4 litre MultiAir turbocharged inline-four, producing 140 PS (103 kW; 138 hp) and 240 N⋅m (177 lb⋅ft) of torque in European specification—and 160 hp (119 kW; 162 PS) and 184 lb⋅ft (249 N⋅m) of torque in North American specification. The 124 manual transmission is from the third generation MX-5's six speed transmission to cope with the turbo's torque.

Multiair is a hydraulically actuated variable valve timing (VVT) engine technology enabling "cylinder by cylinder, stroke by stroke" control of intake air directly via a gasoline engine's inlet valves. Developed by Fiat Powertrain Technologies, the technology bypasses a primary engine inefficiency: pumping losses caused by restriction of the intake passage by the throttle plate, used to regulate air feeding the cylinders.

Engines and performance

Note: MT6 = six speed manual transmission, AT6 = six speed automatic transmission.

Engines and performance, North American models

Note: MT6 = six speed manual transmission, AT6 = six speed automatic transmission.

Limited editions

At the 124's debut, Fiat marketed a 124 Spider Anniversary edition, with 124 units carrying the designation—to commemorate the 50th anniversary of original 124 Sport Spider. Including features of the 124 Spider Lusso Plus trim, the edition also includes chromed mirrors, red '124' badge on the front grille, interior numbered plaque, red exterior and black leather interior.

Abarth 124 Spider

The Abarth 124 Spider is a performance version of the Fiat 124 Spider manufactured by Mazda for FCA under the Abarth marque. It was introduced at the 2016 Geneva Motor Show, along with the racing car Abarth 124 Spider Rally. Final assembly of the car takes place in the Officine Abarth in Turin, Italy, where the model specific parts are installed on the Japanese built roadster.

The Abarth 124 carries over the 1,368 cc (1.4 L; 83.5 cu in) MultiAir turbo I4, upgraded to deliver 170 PS (125 kW; 168 bhp) at 5,500 rpm and 250 N⋅m (184 lb⋅ft) of torque at 2500 rpm. It has a top speed of 232 km/h (144 mph) and can accelerate from 0–100 km/h (62 mph) in 6.8 seconds.

The Abarth 124 Spider features many changes from its counterpart at Fiat. On the exterior, these include Abarth badging, an optional black racing stripe hand painted on the hood and decklid, and 17 inch aluminium wheels. The interior features heated black leather and microfiber sport seats with the option of leather and Alcantara suede Recaro seats.

It also features a leather wrapped sport steering wheel and gear knob, as well as red accent stitching.

Fiat 124 Spider Abarth

The North American-spec version was originally announced at the 2016 New York International Auto Show as the Fiat 124 Spider Elaborazione Abarth (meaning "tuned by Abarth"), with equipment roughly equivalent to the Mazda MX-5 Miata's Club Package. Unlike the standard Abarth model, it did not feature any power increase over the standard Fiat 124 Spider, and wore Fiat badges instead of Abarth badges, aside for the Elaborazione Abarth badges on the front fenders. However the 124 Spider Elaborazione Abarth was cancelled in favour of the standard Abarth model, sold as the Fiat 124 Spider Abarth due to Abarth's status as a performance trim in North America rather than a full brand. Although it wore full exterior Abarth badging, it used the Fiat badge on the steering wheel up until the 2019 model-year, due to the airbag recertification.

Abarth 124 Spider Rally

The Abarth 124 Spider Rally is a rally version of the 124 homologated in the FIA R-GT category. It has a 1.8 litre turbocharged engine with 300 PS (221 kW; 296 hp) at 6,500 rpm.


Jeremy Clarkson, in his "Driving" column of The Sunday Times, gave the Fiat 124 Spider three out of five stars, saying that "You'd expect the Fiat, being Italian and all, to be sportier and more manic than the MX-5, but actually it's quieter and less fun."



External links

  • Official website (USA)
  • 2017 Fiat 124 Spider First Drive Review: Incredibly Inevitable (Motor Trend)


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