When you are about to present your version of a myth on wheels, what should you do? Most carmakers must have a to-do list in these and other cases, but Fiat’s presentation of the new 124 Spider has just added a very important “not to do”. Never, ever choose a black car for your first pictures, especially if the car lines are the most important part to make it different from the vehicle it is based on. In this case, the Mazda MX-5 Miata. This is why we prefered to wait for more images of the new roadster: in order to be perfectly fair with it.
The new 124 Spider has been deemed by most of my colleagues in the USA as a Japanese warrior in an Italian suit, but it also has an Italian soul. Instead of the 2.0 naturally aspirated engine of the Mazda, which produces 116 kW, Fiat decided to give its version a 1.4 turbo MultiAir engine, which produces… 119 kW. Peak torque appears first (at 2,500 rpm, against 4,600) and is bigger (250 Nm, versus 201 Nm) than the one the Japanese 2.0 presents, what could be held as an advantage, but the 124 Spider is also slightly heavier than the Mazda that has allowed it to exist (1,105 kg, or 48 kg more than the 1,058 kg of the MX-5, considering the manual transmission versions of each).
In the end, the 124 has a power-to-weight ratio of 9.29 kg/kw, while the Miata presents 9.12 kg/kW. When it comes to torque-to-weight ratio, the Fiat has a small advantage over its Japanese competitor: 4,42 kg/Nm versus 5,26 kg/Nm. Anyway, the Abarth version of the 124 Spider, expected to have a 2.0 GME turbo engine, should not take long to show up.
The new 124 Spider is 4.05 m long, 1.74 wide, 1.23 m tall and has a wheelbase of 2.31 m. Apart from this measure, the 124 is longer, wider and lower than the Miata, which is 4 m long, 1.72 m wide and 1.26 m tall. Good credentials when it comes to sports car expectations. It will be sold in two trim levels, called Classica and Lusso. The car can be ordered in six different colors in its Classica version: Rosso Passione (Red Clear Coat), Bianco Gelato (White Clear Coat), Nero Cinema (Jet Black Metallic), Grigio Argento (Gray Metallic), Grigio Moda (Dark Gray Metallic) and Bronzo Magnetico (Bronze Metallic). The Lusso counts with one more option: Bianco Perla (Crystal White Pearl).
The first units of the car will only be available at Fiat’s dealers in summer 2016. The first 124 units will become a collectors item called Prima Edizione, which will have numbered plates and come in the exclusive Azzuro Italia color. The same one you can see above, and definitely the one that should have been used for the first pictures of the car in the wild. Seat will come with premium leather in Saddle. The Prima Edizione will also offer a poster and some wearables to its owners. Prices will possibly only be revealed close to the start of sales.