Fiat describes its anticipated new model as having “revived the legendary nameplate, with iconic Italian styling and a dynamic driving experience”.
To break that statement down, nearly half-a-century has passed since the original 124 Spider was introduced to drivers; and the styling of the new 124, Fiat says, is "a modern adaptation" of the lines of that original model. You and I, of course, might see a lot more of the latest MX-5 than the original 124 Spider.
And the driving dynamics? Given the 124 is based on Mazda’s new MX-5 roadster, it’s a pretty safe bet that the 124 won’t disappoint (time will tell).
One point of difference for the 124 over the MX-5 is its powerplant, with Fiat swapping Mazda’s 1.5 and 2.0 litre petrol engines for a turbocharged 1.4 litre MultiAir unit making 119kW and 250Nm.
Like the Mazda, the Fiat is rear-wheel-drive and available with either a six-speed manual or six-speed automatic transmission.
Suspension is a double-wishbone layout at the front with a multi-link setup in the rear, which Fiat says has been tuned for “greater stability while braking and turning”. The steering uses electronic power assistance.
For an improved roadster experience, Fiat says the convertible soft-top is easy to use, and an ‘acoustic’ front windscreen has been fitted to minimise noise.
Inside, there’s a Fiat Connect seven-inch touchscreen, heated seats, keyless entry Bluetooth and a premium audio system from Bose with nine speakers.
Safety features include adaptive front headlamps, blind-spot monitoring, rear cross traffic alert and a reversing camera.
For the US market, the 124 will be available in two trim levels: Classica (Classic) and Lusso (Luxury).
But the first 124, um, 124s (for US customers at least) will be individually numbered special edition ‘Edizione Lusso’ models (pictured below) - available in an exclusive Azzurro Italia (Blue) with Saddle leather seats and offered with ‘wearable’ extras for the buyer (clothes, we assume) and a poster.
Otherwise, the list of paint finishes includes 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 model is also available in tri-coat Bianco Perla (Crystal White Pearl).
Fiat’s all-new 124 is heading to Australia, but timing and local specifications are yet to be finalised.
“It’s a hugely exciting time for the Fiat brand both in Australia and globally, with some incredible vehicles joining the line-up," Fiat Chrysler Automobiles Australia President and CEO, Pat Dougherty, said.
“As we prepare to launch the Fiat 500X in Australia, our Italian colleagues have revealed the next evolution of one of motoring’s most storied nameplates, the Fiat 124 Spider. When Italian design is applied to a two-seat sports car, the result was always going to be special, and I’m thrilled to see the new Fiat 124 Spider doesn’t disappoint.”
Stay tuned to TMR for more from the LA Auto Show.