LOS ANGELES — It has been nearly 50 years since the Fiat 124 Spider was first introduced to the United States market. Furthermore, it has been more than 30 years since the car was last on sale here. But that is about to change following an announcement made by the automaker at the 2015 Los Angeles Auto Show.
“This vehicle is really a return to our heritage,” said Nicole Longhini-McElroy, brand manager of Fiat North America. “This is a unique color for us, it is our anniversary edition. It is Azzurro Italia, which is the color you think of Italy. On the front grille, we pay homage to the original 124 Spider. You can see the hexagonal on the front. For this vehicle, there will only be 124 of them made in this color and in this combination. The vehicle behind you, the Lusso, will have a color palette of seven colors. We will also have a lower trim level called the Classica.”
The new 124 Spider sits on the same chassis as the Mazda Miata. It comes with the same 1.4-liter, Multiair turbo four-cylinder engine that you’ll find on the Fiat 500 Abarth. That means you can expect 160 horsepower and 184 lb.-ft. of torque.
“As far as Fiat goes, they’ve had their ups and downs,” said Akshay Anand, a senior analyst at Kelley Blue Book. “They’ve had a little bit of turnover recently. A few years ago, it was two cars and now it’s kind of exploded. I think the most important thing for Fiat is to get a wider portfolio out there for the consumer.”
Additional features on the new model include the Fiat Connect 7.0 system with 7-inch touchscreen display, multimedia control, Bluetooth connectivity, heated seats and Keyless Enter ‘n Go. A Bose premium sound system rounds out the interior features. To make the audio even better, there are dual headrest speakers on both seats.
Pricing for the new 124 Spider has not yet been announced. However, we can tell you it will arrive in Fiat Studios in summer 2016.