The Fiat 124 Spider was reborn as a 2017 mannequin, from the candy little 1966-1986 roadster of the identical identify. Nevertheless, this time round it’s extra Japanese than Italian, as a partnership between Fiat and Mazda introduced the sunshine and inflexible chassis from the MX-5 Miata to the sheetmetal and suspension by Fiat. It’s a win-win-win deal: Mazda, Fiat, and consumers of the 2-seat 124. Simply don’t name it a Fiata.
The turbocharged 1.four-liter engine is Fiat’s, from the stock of Fiat Chrysler Cars, the primary time it’s been utilized in a rear-wheel-drive platform. It makes one hundred sixty horsepower (164 within the Abarth model) and 184 pound-ft of torque. It comes with a six-velocity automated, which falls in need of the spirit of the car, or the identical six-velocity guide that the MX-5 makes use of, which is way extra enjoyable than the automated: The guide brings crisp shifts and a candy clutch.
A sporty Abarth mannequin features a sports activities suspension and different efficiency enhancements.
As a result of the 124 Spider was new for 2017, there aren’t any vital modifications for 2018. Choices for the Fiat 124 Lusso and Abarth fashions are extra versatile. There’s a brand new Purple Prime Version, and there are three new colours: Puro Blanco Perla (pure white pearl), Grigio Chiaro (silver metallic) and Blu Scuro (darkish blue metallic).
The Fiat 124 Spider convertible comes as Classica ($24,995), Lusso ($27,595); and excessive-efficiency Abarth ($28,295). Additionally the Lusso Purple Prime ($27,595).
Lusso will get good-looking leather-based seats, however it solely comes with the automated. The Abarth provides Bilstein shock absorbers, restricted-slip differential, a sport mode that alters the engine dynamics, and particular trim.
There are MoPar chassis enhancements obtainable, together with a tuned exhaust system and turbo bypass air valve.
The 124 Spider and MX-5 have the identical ninety.9-inch wheelbase, however the Fiat is 5.5 inches longer and a small bit wider. It solely resembles the MX-5, it doesn’t actually seem like it. The Fiat has an extended hood with a retro rectangular grille and scooped headlamps, features that make it resemble the unique 124. There are robust character strains on the aspect panels, a better rear deck over a barely greater trunk, and modern alloy wheels.
The convertible prime is by Mazda, straightforward to function with one hand, and simply secured with a single windshield header latch; it’s completely easy. The material is heavier than that within the MX-5, to offer extra sound insulation. There isn’t any onerous-prime as there’s with the MX-5, however the twin rollbar hoops are taken from the MX-5.
The Classica trim is black and physique-coloured; Lusso trim is silver; and Abarth is gunmetal, typically with a black hood.
Just a few interior bits are shared with the MX-5; the Fiat’s smooth-contact supplies are higher, and its cabins is extra refined. There’s a Fiat instrument package deal, Fiat door panels, Fiat material upholstery within the Classica, and elegantly stitched Italian leather-based within the different two fashions.
Naturally there’s the supply of navigation and connectivity, with readouts on the small display rising from the sprint, just like the MX-5.
The interior is comfortable just like the MX-5, particularly the passenger aspect; the Spider’s additional size is all within the overhangs. Six-footers shall be challenged.
With the highest down, the cockpit is pretty freed from turbulence; caps keep on, with out having to be turned backwards. Dialog is feasible, with raised voices, however nonetheless potential. With the highest up, the interior is quiet at freeway speeds. Fiat put additional effort into noise suppression.
The turbocharged 1.four-liter engine makes use of a single overhead cam. Because of 22 kilos of turbo increase, it makes a robust-for-its-size one hundred sixty hp and 184 lb-ft of torque. However the MX-5 is faster, as a result of though its engine isn’t turbocharged, it’s 2.zero liters. The Fiat will do zero to sixty in 6.eight seconds, whereas the MX-5 will do it in simply 6.zero seconds. The Fiatís weak spot on the low finish is felt extra with the automated transmission, which is in any other case responsive; utilizing the shift paddles helps, however they’re not obtainable on the bottom Classica.
The Fiat feels higher out on the freeway, the place it brings a greater mid-range passing response, particularly with the guide gearbox.
The Spider brings some sports activities car traits than not all sports activities automobiles ship: flat cornering, cat-like reflexes, keen responses, fast steering with sharp accuracy, extension of the driving force’s will.
It’s about one hundred kilos heavier than the MX-5, however the Fiat continues to be a really light-weight 2436 kilos, so it modifications instructions shortly, though not with out physique lean. Nevertheless it’s nonetheless exact, and all the time predictable.
The journey within the Classica and Lusso is surprisingly supple, even gentle, in not fairly like a household sedan, however shut.
The Abarth is by no means gentle, and much much less supple. Actually, some may say it’s stiff, in addition to loud. Some additionally would say that’s what makes it a lot enjoyable. It’s faster to show in, and extra responsive, taking full benefit of its Bilstein shocks and strut tower brace.
We received to drive an Abarth on an autocross course in an enormous parking zone, the place its dealing with was spectacular, however the tremendous-aggressive laps didn’t supply a lot sense of what it might be wish to drive round city day by day.
We acquired extra seat time within the Lusso, and it’s nice sufficient, however the 6-velocity automated leaves one thing to be desired. Shifting is clean however leisurely, and the guide perform, achieved by shifting the shift lever fore and aft, doesn’t appear to quicken the shifts.
The 6-velocity guide is way extra satisfying, with crisp engagements and a candy clutch.
The 1.four-liter engine’s 184 pound-ft of torque give it respectable thrust, thanks additionally to spice up from the turbocharger. Nevertheless it doesn’t rev as freely because the MX-5’s naturally aspirated 1.5-liter engine. We guess that it’ll do zero to sixty in about 6 seconds, similar because the MX-5.
The Fiat 124 Spider brings Italian styling and it’s extra snug than the Miata. Its a turbocharged engine is sweet and fast, nevertheless it’s not as satisfying as the upper-revving usually aspirated engine within the MX-5. Go for the crisp 6-velocity guide with a consumer-pleasant clutch, fairly than the sluggish-shifting 6-velocity automated, which suggests a Classica, until you need the arduous-edged sportiness of an Abarth.
Sam Moses contributed to this review from the Pacific Northwest, with Mitch McCullough reporting from the Northeast, and employees Pictures You’ll be able to select 2018 Fiat 124 as your very best vehicle. There are a number of choices of sort, collection, particular specifications and colours of 2018 Fiat 124. Examine and Discover the proper 2018 Fiat 124 for You!
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