According to Edmunds, which spoke with the Fiat brand's North American chief, Jason Stoicevich, the Fiat 124 Spider will debut later this year either at the Frankfurt Motor Show in September or the LA Auto Show in December. It is expected to begin reaching dealers in 2016. Fiat has yet to confirm whether it'll offer the 124 in North America, but the chances are looking good.
"There is a ton of heritage behind that," Stoicevich told Edmunds. "I think that just kind of puts the bow on the showroom for us and fills it out completely."
The roadster would bolster a Fiat US lineup that's made up of versions of the 500: the original hatchback, open-roof 500C, electric-powered 500e, and 500L and 500X crossovers. Fiat offers other models overseas, but is said to be preparing a change in direction even in Europe, aligning its portfolio in two pillars built around the 500 and the Panda.
Though the 124 will be based on the MX-5's platform and be built alongside it in Japan, the Italian brand will give the convertible its own bodywork and styling. The Italian version of the MX-5 was originally earmarked to wear an Alfa Romeo badge, but Fiat brass decided that Alfas needed to be developed in-house and built in Italy. The decision was then made to give the Fiat brand the convertible instead, though details on what form it will take and what engines will be offered remain a mystery.