Review: 2018 Fiat 124 Spider

Bob Hall and Mark Jordan initial sketched a outline of what became a Mazda Miata on a cocktail napkin in a bar in Irvine California. Hall after told me that their judgment was radically “an MGB that didn’t trickle oil in your driveway.”

Mission accomplished.

He competence have been a tad some-more accurate if he had pronounced “Fiat 124 Spider” instead of “MGB.”

Primary among a good things about a strange Pininfarina-designed 124 Spider (1966-85, in several guises) that put it approach forward of a MGB was a automobile tip that was a snap (literally) to lift and lower, as against to a Meccano-set-from-hell half-hour assign compulsory for a B.

The new Fiat 124 Spider can therefore explain some admittedly gossamer reciprocity to a namesake.

It was introduced final year, and is formed on a fourth-generation Mazda MX-5 Miata, that immediately warranted it a nickname “Fiata.”

2019 Fiat 124 Spider and 1968 Fiat 124 Spider

Prices start during $31,495 for a entry-level “Classica” trim level, with a mid-level “Lusso” using $34,495.

My tester was a range-topping “Abarth.” For a kiddies in a audience, Carlo Abarth was an Austrian/Italian tuner who specialized in creation Fiats go indecently fast.

His namesake Fiat 124 indication lists during $37,995.

Just about each choice box on a sequence form for my exam automobile had been checked; a final plaque came to lofty $48,880, and another $100 for atmosphere conditioning taxation and a $1,895 end charge.

Among a options were large black leather seats ($1,295); a “convenience group” ($1,500) including confidence alarm, backup warning complement and a blind mark monitoring complement that as always is purposeless in itself, nonetheless it also brings a back cranky trade warning complement that can be helpful; “visibility group” ($1,500) that includes a useful auto-levelling LED headlights with washers; and a “navigation and sound’’ organisation ($1,600) with SatNav, a BOSE 9-speaker sound complement with speakers in a conduct rests, and Sirius satellite radio with a one-year subscription.

Among a best things on a choice list are a powerful, not to discuss splendid red, Brembo front brakes ($1,195).

Perhaps among a misfortune choice competence be a matte black paint on a hood and case lid. This recalls a 124 Abarth Rally indication of a mid-1970s and looks unequivocally cool. Except we have to flare over 3 grand for it, afterwards watch some birds poop on it, during that indicate it’s flattering most done.

Looking during photos of a strange 124 Spider and a reincarnation — car-nation, geddit?? — we now can see that a similarity is uncanny.

And, it shows how shining a strange pattern was. The automobile still looks modern, and really pretty.

Structurally, a new 124 Spider is an MX-5 underneath, and is fabricated by Mazda in Japan.

I will concentration here on a differences between a twin cars.

Prime among those would be a engine, a 1.4-litre, four-cylinder “Tigershark” turbocharged 4 that comes from Fiat/Chrysler’s bureau in Dundee Michigan. It already has warranted a lot of visit flyer miles by a time we collect adult your car.

2019 Fiat 124 Spider

It delivers 164 horsepower during 6,500 r.p.m in a Abarth version, 160 in a others. (That’s indeed reduction than a 2019 MX-5’s 181 during 7,000 r.p.m.).

Peak torque in a Fiat is 184 lb.-.ft. in all trim levels, so detached from a sportier empty note in a Abarth there’s not most in it. That torque value does however surpass a MX-5’s 151 lb.-ft. during 4,000 r.p.m., and it peaks during usually 2,500 r.p.m.

My tester had a six-speed primer transmission, that indeed is from a prior era NC Miata. The proffered reason is a Tigershark’s aloft torque, nonetheless a ND MX-5 has some-more torque than a NC did, and a new tranny can hoop that. Seems a bit odd.

A six-speed autobox is also available.

As hinted during above, a interior is flattering most a same as a MX-5, and that’s mostly good.

But first, we contingency make certain we fit — it is a tiny car.

The seats have tractable thigh support that is always acquire in a domicile with twin really different-sized people pushing a cars. we found them really comfortable, and a tractable front partial of a chair pillow will make different-sized drivers some-more during home.

Interesting that a latest MX-5, strictly a 2019 model, gets a lean and telescope steering circle for a initial time in a car’s history, while my 124 usually had lean like a comparison MX-5s. Makes we consider that maybe this will be combined when a 2019 Fiat comes out.

Some good sum such a red stitching in a seats and trim panels supplement a grand touch. Still no glove box, usually a tiny cubby underneath a driver’s right elbow. No doorway map pockets either.

On a and side, a case is incomparable than MX-5’s by during slightest one soft-sided square of luggage.

A automobile like this is for driving, so let’s go.

Oddly, a additional torque doesn’t make a Fiat quicker than a MX-5, possibly by a stopwatch (a 0 to 100 km/h of about 7 seconds will be maybe half a second slower than a MX-5) or by a chair of your pants.

That’s due to a time it takes for a turbo to spool. Once we get to that torque rise during 2,500 r.p.m. it’s a pretty gratifying run to a red line. Upshift, and lift on.

And like a MX-5, substantially nobody around we knows how tough you’re driving. Good afternoon, Officer!

The Sport mode sharpens a stifle response, creation a automobile feel a bit some-more lively. It resets to normal mode when we close a engine off.

Nobody ever complained about a Miata’s gearbox, and even if a Fiat’s is one era old, it still feels excellent to me. Shifts are certain and smooth. Clutch take-up is perfect. If you’ve never driven a hang and wish to learn, steal one of these. Or an MX-5.

It would be formidable to screw adult an MX-5’s handling, and Fiat has not. If we gathering a twin back-to-back we competence notice a MX-5 responds somewhat some-more neatly in corners, though again, there’s not most in it.

I didn’t expostulate a non-Abarth version, so it’s unfit to contend what disproportion a firmer cessation would make.

You would design reduction physique hurl — a MX-5 leans a bit in corners, nonetheless it never seems to block your swell by a twisties — and a Abarth edition’s float is a bit on a organisation side.

The Great, Luxurious Canadian Road Trip

The Fiat does have some-more sound deadening, and it seems quieter inside with that poetic retractable soothing tip in place. Like a MX-5, there are speakers in a headrests, that also bond to a cellphone. we could hear my callers fine, nonetheless they had some problem conference me.

I — we all — should usually close adult and drive…

So, what has Fiat Chrysler wrought with this car?

For sure, it won’t put a MX-5 on a self-evident trailer.

But it gives fans of open cars — no retractable hardtop indication like a MX-5 offers — another choice in a really tiny margin of quasi-affordable ragtops.

It is maybe reduction a pristine drivers automobile than a MX-5, though that might interest to some who usually wish a en plein aire feeling but utterly a same turn of intensity.

And, it is officious fanciful to demeanour at.

That is never a bad thing.

2018 Fiat 124 Spider

BODY STYLE: Two-door two-seat automobile sports car. Rear-wheel drive.
PRICE: Classica — $31,495; Lusso — $34,495; Abarth — $35,995. As tested (Abarth indication with options) — $48,880.
ENGINE: 1.4. litre inline four, twin beyond camshafts, 4 valves per cylinder, turbocharged.
POWER/TORQUE, horsepower / lb.-ft: 164 @ 6,500 r.p.m. / 184 @ 2,500 r.p.m.
FUEL CONSUMPTION: Transport Canada, City / Highway, litres per 100 km: 9.0 / 6.7. Regular unleaded fuel.
COMPETITION: Mazda MX-5; MINI convertible.
WEBSITE: Fiat 124 Spider

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