2010s / Fiat / Italian / News

News: Fiat could bring back the 124 Sport Coupe

Fiat could build the Miata coupe that Mazda insists won’t happen under its watch, while reviving an iconic nameplate that has laid dormant for decades.

The Turin-based company is in the early stages of turning the new, Miata-based 124 Spider into a coupe, according to a report published by British magazine Autocar. And while Mazda already offers a version of the Miata with a retractable hard top, the 124-based coupe is being developed with a fixed roof like the original Sport Coupe that was sold from 1967 to 1975.

Some sources claim the 124 coupe will feature a hatchback like the BMW Z4 Coupe that was built until 2008, a feature that will make it considerably more practical than rivals like the Toyota 86/Subaru BRZ twins. Others affirm that fitting the coupe with a hatch is too costly because it requires substantially re-engineering the Miata’s body, so the 124 Coupe will use the same trunk lid and rear section as the Spider. If that’s the case, the model could look a lot like the Abarth 124 Rally concept (pictured below) that was introduced earlier this year during the Geneva Auto Show.

Another point of debate is which engine the coupe should use. Some markets will get a turbocharged 1.4-liter with just 138 horsepower, while others will receive an evolution of the turbo four tuned to provide 168 horsepower. Finally, a handful of Fiat executives are pushing for a sport-focused model powered by a 178-horsepower 1.4-liter tweaked by Abarth. Regardless, rear-wheel drive and a manual transmission will come standard, and an automatic gearbox will be available at an extra cost.

If the rumor is accurate, the 21st-century Fiat 124 Sport Coupe could make its official debut as early as next year and go on sale shortly after as a 2018 model. It will allegedly cost about 10 percent more than the coupe, meaning pricing will start at approximately $27,500 in the United States.

 

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