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.