2018 124 Spider New Car Test Drive
The Fiat 124 Spider was reborn as a 2017 model, from the sweet little 1966-1986 roadster of the same name. However, this time around it's more Japanese than Italian, as a partnership between Fiat and Mazda brought the light and rigid chassis from the MX-5 Miata to the sheetmetal and suspension by Fiat. It's a win-win-win deal: Mazda, Fiat, and buyers of the two-seat 124. Just don't call it a Fiata.
The turbocharged 1.4-liter engine is Fiat's, from the inventory of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, the first time it's been used in a rear-wheel-drive platform. It makes 160 horsepower (164 in the Abarth version) and 184 pound-feet of torque. It comes with a six-speed automatic, which falls short of the spirit of the car, or the same six-speed manual that the MX-5 uses, which is far more fun than the automatic: The manual brings crisp shifts and a sweet clutch.
A sporty Abarth model features a sports suspension and other performance enhancements.
Because the 124 Spider was new for 2017, there aren't any significant changes for 2018. Options for the Fiat 124 Lusso and Abarth models are more flexible. There's a new Red Top Edition, and there are three new colors: Puro Blanco Perla (pure white pearl), Grigio Chiaro (silver metallic) and Blu Scuro (dark blue metallic).
The Fiat 124 Spider convertible comes as Classica ($24,995), Lusso ($27,595); and high-performance Abarth ($28,295). Also the Lusso Red Top ($27,595).
Lusso gets handsome leather seats, but it only comes with the automatic. The Abarth adds Bilstein shock absorbers, limited-slip differential, a sport mode that alters the engine dynamics, and special trim.
There are MoPar chassis enhancements available, along with a tuned exhaust system and turbo bypass air valve.