Fiat version of Mazda MX-5 Miata to be called 124 Spider
Auto Express reportedly asked Marchionne directly about the convertible at the 2015 Geneva Motor Show. The CEO said: "Do we want to do it now?" After another executive verified the name, Marchionne responded: "There you go – a world class premiere right in this room!"
Autoblog reached out to Fiat Brand communications boss in the US Ariel Gavilan for more information, and he verified the story. Gavilan said that brand head Olivier François confirmed the 124 Spider name to international media during a briefing in Geneva.
FCA isn't going quite so far as officially confirming that the 124 Spider shares a platform with the latest Mazda MX-5 Miata, but that's almost a certainty. The two automakers jointly developed the chassis, and the original plan was for it to underpin an Alfa Romeo. However, Marchionne didn't want an Alfa assembled outside of Italy. Fiat even hinted at this possible change as far back as the corporation's five-year plan last summer.
Insiders tell Auto Express that the 124 Spider reportedly carries retro-inspired style, and hopefully, that means the roadster evokes the look of the original 124 Sport Spider (pictured above) by Pininfarina. Fiat allegedly is also aiming for a weight less than 2,205 pounds, and the engine range is likely comprised of versions of the brand's 1.4-liter turbo. The mill already pumps out 160 horsepower and 183 pound-feet of torque in the Fiat 500 Abarth in the US. According to Auto Express, Fiat and Mazda have an agreement to launch the Miata in 2015 and the 124 Spider in 2016. A hotter Abarth version could come along eventually, too.
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