2010s / Fiat / Italian / Japanese / Mazda / News

It’s official: Fiat is preparing a 21st century 124 Spider built on a Miata platform

fiat-124-spider-10Putting an end to a long-standing rumor, Fiat CEO Sergio Marchionne has confirmed that the company’s upcoming Mazda-based roadster will resurrect the heritage-laced 124 Spider moniker.

The 21st century 124 Spider will ride on the same rear-wheel drive platform as the fourth-gen Mazda MX-5 Miata that was introduced last fall. Rest assured, the similarities between the two models will stop there and the 124 feature a look of its own, the two cars are not expected to share any styling cues or body parts. The ragtop’s design has not been finalized yet, and whether or not the next 124 will be inspired by the original Pininfarina-designed Spider (pictured below) that was introduced in 1966 is up in the air.

Similarly, what the 124 will be powered by has not been announced yet. Using Mazda-sourced engines is not an option because the deal between Fiat and Mazda only applies to the MX-5’s platform, not to mechanical components. That leaves us with either the downsized turbo fours currently found in the Fiat parts bin or the next-gen four-cylinders that Alfa Romeo is reportedly developing.

Rumors indicate that a more powerful Abarth-tuned version of the 124 Spider will be introduced a little later in the production run. That seems likely, but it’s important to note that nothing has been confirmed yet.

The next Fiat 124 Spider will be built alongside the Miata in Hiroshima, Japan. It is expected to go on sale in Europe, in the United States and in a number of other global markets in mid-2016 at the very earliest, though we’ve learned to take Fiat’s release dates with a grain of salt. Look for the convertible to debut either next fall at the Frankfurt Motor Show or in March of next year at the Geneva Motor Show.

4 thoughts on “It’s official: Fiat is preparing a 21st century 124 Spider built on a Miata platform

  1. will the be a 124 coupe also? i am not sure that Mazda will allow Fiat to offer a faster or more powerful version. will this result in more sharing between the companies or be the start of a merger, which might help both? should be interesting.

    • I haven’t heard anything about a coupe, I don’t think it’s in the works.

      The agreement calls for the joint-development of a roadster, and I don’t think it currently applies to anything else. Never say never, though, I guess.

  2. Pingback: Post-production: The week in review | Ran When Parked

  3. On the one hand, yes. It will be great to see a new Fiat coupe and spider after all these years but sadly this decision also marks a sad day in the history or another iconic Italian brand; Alfa Romeo.

    Originally the plan was to build this MX5 based model as an Alfa taking that marque back where it once belonged, at the smaller, lighter and cheaper end of the market. Fiat / Chrysler chief Mancionne seems to have tried so many different grand plans for the future that it is hard to believe that this Fiat model won’t suffer the same fate as those previous ideas, languishing on the drawing board for a couple of years before being forgotten as yet another grand plan emerges.

    When you look at Lancia, once a beacon of sporting prowess, now reduced to the Italian home market only via selling Chryslers with Lancia badges and vice versa. The management at Fiat now only has eyes on the US market and Alfa seems to have no place in that future.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s