Journal: What Do You Think Of The 2017 Fiat 124 Spider?

What Do You Think Of The 2017 Fiat 124 Spider?

Michael Banovsky By Michael Banovsky
November 18, 2015
35 comments

Photos Courtesy of Fiat

Yes, it’s based on the Mazda Miata. Yes, its nose looks one grille too similar to a Dodge Dart, and its taillights scream, “My uncle’s a Viper,” but we now get another brand-new sports car to coo at. The future’s not all bad.

The Fiat is a bit punchier than the Mazda, making 160 horsepower from its Abarth-derived 1.4-litre turbocharged 4-cylinder engine. My own Abarth’s ticked over 50,000 kms with nary an issue, and tuners have coaxed an easy 220+ horsepower from this motor—canyon carvers, take note.

I’m personally curious about trading up, but to be truly convinced I’ll need someone to design a 124 Abarth Rally-style hardtop, fog light setup, and vented black hood.

So what do you think of this turbocharged, manual transmission-equipped roadster?

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Christopher Dubea
Christopher Dubea

Wow. Makes me appreciate my S2000 all the more. Seriously, for about half the price of this you can find a mint S2000 that is a balls to the wall driving machine with no “infotainment”, happily revs to 8000 rpm+, and is reliable all day long.

Erik Preiss
Erik Preiss

No question, it’s the nicest Miata ever (and should absolutely be built as such). But FIAT could use the 124 Spider’s formal DNA more consistently. Rotten platform compromises ruined already two generations of Alfa Spiders!

Steve Goudy
Steve Goudy

I think this is a good first attempt at a new 124 Spider. The shape of the upper grill, the coves around the headlights and the character line that runs from the front wheel arch back across the door, up over the door handle and becoming the top of the rear fender are all aspects of the design I was looking for on the final car. Since this was going to be an Alfa and had to be switched to Fiat later, not bad.

Kenyon Stewart
Kenyon Stewart

In my opinion, the original 124 spider is the best looking roadster of its era and has that revvy gem of an engine the FIAT Twin Cam. I plan to add one to my garage in the future even though I’m not really a convertible guy. The new one is kind of fugly in my opinion. I know they were trying to capture some of the original lines, but it just comes off as tortured and cliched. It looks even worse than most of these American muscle car recreations of late. Maybe it will grow on me, but I think… Read more »

Robert Greenebaum
Robert Greenebaum

Tough crowd. I think the Fiata looks great. Not a big fan of the evil bunny face on the new Mazda- this looks a bit more classic (and less busy) to me. Plus the added power makes this a winner IMO. Only question left is price. I would think this will command an extra $2K-$3K over the Mazda (have to pay for those star-studded TV ads you know). Anything more than that will be a tough sell.

Douglas Anderson
Douglas Anderson

Having owned a Fiat 124 coupe and a 124 Spyder , then later on a Mazda RX7 cabriolet ( plus three Porsches, a Jag and numerous others). I see a bit of all in this iteration and it’s frankly ok with me. Any manufacturer who can bring a sweet handling two seat drop top to market at a price point that an old geezer like me or some young person can actually afford is spot on IMHO ! We can all rag on about the obvious cross culture contamination , but the thing that gets me going is that its… Read more »

Mark
Mark

Such a great shame it’s not an original Fiat design. Fiat’s continual dalliance with Ford/Mazda does it no favours in my opinion..

Matt Spangler
Matt Spangler

Another great reason to buy a real vintage roadster and restore, or repair so you can enjoy. Why would I want to buy an Italian car that is Japanese? It makes perfect sense if your customers want a reliable roadster. But for those that want the passion and design of an Italian car, it’s a no go . . . we don’t expect reliability from Italian cars. It’s all about the experience and joy of driving. Fiat obviously is desperate to be relevant in the U.S. market and are getting on enough people not caring about where the car is… Read more »

Jeremy DeConcini
Jeremy DeConcini

Not perfect, but another 2 seat convertible sports car on the market, I am all for it!

Chris Caird
Chris Caird

I am hoping that this article from Car Scoops is correct in that Alfa will build their own.
I am a huge lover of all things miata but the Fiat version is a disappointment to me.
1. Make that info/sat nav go away
2. Hood of Chrysler Crossfire? The similarities for me are very off-putting.

http://www.carscoops.com/2014/12/mx-5-based-alfa-romeo-is-now-abarth.html

Vojtek ?okovi?
Vojtek ?okovi?

The hood feels more like a tribute to original Fiat 124 Spider.

foggyagave
foggyagave

Is Mazda building this for Fiat? It’s the exact dash of the new Mazda MX-5. Like the leather seat pattern on the Fiat – Mazda should offer it as a design option on the MX-5.

Otto Nutt
Otto Nutt

Agreed.. if two companies are going to share a product, there should be as much of an effort to differentiate the interiors as they do the exteriors, considering you spend the majority of time with the vehicle looking at the dashboard and handling the switchgear. For example, it was quite distracting for me at this year’s auto show, after sitting in the Mazda CX-3, to find the exact same dashboard inside the Scion iA.

Future Doc
Future Doc

The Mazda looks better and I do not think the Mazda looks great. It looks exactly like they crossed the Miata with the Charger (and the Dart nose is a fair point). The rear bumper looks like it has packed an extra pair of Depends. Shape that rear off and it would look a lot better. They have that wonderful 2006 “silver” A-Pillar from the Solstice/Sky… that I can’t stand.

Thomas Donohue
Thomas Donohue

This looks more like an NB version of the Miata, albeit a much more luxurious one. That side shot has me thinking of my 1999 MX-5.

Gerard Hesp
Gerard Hesp

Mazda lost me with those silly dash info (nearly a tv) screens. Sorry to see the Fiat has it also.

Edward Levin
Edward Levin

meh

Gas Project
Gas Project

Oh dear. Legendary Italian marques rebooting another brand’s car – Chryslers rebadged as Lancias, now Fiat basically rebadging Mazdas. Very, very disappointed. Are we witnessing the death of Italian design leadership?

Christopher Gay
Christopher Gay

What’s that screen for in the middle of the dash?

Ronnie M
Ronnie M

It’s the infotainment/sat nav screen lifted from Mazda. Mazda tends to mount it this way for their car models. I think it allows a higher sight line with a lower dash. It tends to be in the dash for their CUV models which tend to have different seating and sight lines.

Christopher Gay
Christopher Gay

My question was in rhetoric, but thank you kindly for the information.

I’ve never owned and hardly driven a car with such a screen, so I just don’t understand the need, and in turn, the purpose of “infotainment”/etc. Looks like one more thing to break, in my opinion.

Pardon my ignorance. 😉 I just like to drive.

Alejandro Diaz
Alejandro Diaz

Price? Price? Price?

Rob Blasdel
Rob Blasdel

Here’s the problem, imo, with the [i]perception [/i]via these photos of this automobile. Black is a great color in the flesh, but it is a photographer’s nightmare to shoot. It reflects all that is around it; those reflections are bent, swirled and distorted by the body curves and angles. Compare the exact opposite color, which relative to photography, reflects nothing. Then blue which reflects something.

mOX
mOX

Are we sure that FIAT bought Chrysler ? Maybe Chrysler bought FIAT un fact. It’s probable the reason why this roadster had something from the horrible Crossfire. 😮

Stephan Park
Stephan Park

Sadly, both the Mazda and the Fiat costume land a bit flat. Mazda is a bionic catfish with prominent plica semilunaris and odd proportions, the Fiat an incoherent pastiche of an understated classic. The platform deserves a better skin, I can only hope the rumors about an Alfa variant is true. Make the third time a charm please.

Ronnie M
Ronnie M

Where did you get 160 hp? The press release I read said 140 hp.

[url=”http://www.netcarshow.com/fiat/2017-124_spider/”]http://www.netcarshow.com/fiat/2017-124_spider/[/url]

Ronnie M
Ronnie M

Really?!? 20 hp is a pretty significant difference. Has there been any reason given as to why? It usually goes the other way doesn’t it? I thought the US tended to lose a few ponies sometimes due to California emission standards and lower octane standard gas.

Chris Davis
Chris Davis

The Miata has always had more in common with the Lotus Elan, proportionally speaking, with a longer hood and shorter deck than the 124 Spider, so as a starting point it is flawed. The 124 was also fairly blunt in its styling so the result is something that looks like its trying to be something it’s not, which is honest in a twisted way I suppose. It sounds like a lot of fun to drive though with the little turbo engine.

GibsonSG
GibsonSG

No sorry, that’s no classic reprise of the 124 for me. It looks too much like a pastiche of several other designs – MX5 NC in side profile, Chrysler Crossfire from some angle. I’ll pass, thanks.

M Webb
M Webb

FIAT = “fix it again Tony”

JB21
JB21

I think this is an awful bit of design. So many unnecessary lines and details. Looks like twenty different ideas just crammed into one thing, it’s so busy and so incoherent.

Nate Jones
Nate Jones

I love the idea; Miata build quality with Italian flair? Sign me up! Except it’s way ugly to my eyes. The design department got lost on their way to Modena and ended up in Detroit. I can’t help but see the grille as a teenager with huge braces on… I wish they would have given it to their cousins at Alfa Romeo; they could have made a car like the concept 2uettottanta. That would be phenomenal. I know it would take a lot of hard work and engineering to pass safety regs, but the end result would have been worthwhile.… Read more »

Nick
Nick

Yes I like it. It has shades of the original especially the front end and those swage lines along the sides. The interior is definitely all Mazda. My only criticism is the profile especially the soft top. The original had quarter Windows that folded when the top was lowered this car needs it. Otherwise a commendable job that stayed loyal to the original Pininfarina (Tom Tjaarda) design

Aaron Miller
Aaron Miller

Two thoughts:
1) As an Italian sports car based on a Japanese sports car that pays tribute to English sports cars, it’s a pretty great homage to the original Fiat 124.
2) The fact that FCA went with an automatic for the press photo speaks volumes about the type of buyer it’s anticipating.