The Fiat 124 is powered by the the small displacement four cylinder turbocharged mill which pushes the basic version of the 500 Abarth. It features 1.4 cc per 140 hp and torque peak is equal to 240 Nm. But the most important news, is that the power is delivered to the rear wheels.
The Fiat 124 as you know, is built thanks to a joint venture with Mazda Motor Corporation and is built beside the MX-5 in the historic Hiroshima facility. It employs the same effective platform that underpins the new MX-5 mark IV but, as above mentioned, features the powerful Italian turbo engines.
With reference to the perfect weight distribution (50:50) and the unparalleled agility of the Japanese spider, we are curious to see the result of the inclusion of the engine made in Turin.
The car is slightly longer and heavier than the Japanese cousin because the 124 needs a longer hood in order to host its motor.
If the interior is almost identical between the Fiat and the Mazda, the exterior design and the engine’s character are the more substantial differences.
The Fiat 124 Spider design looks successful. The lines grow horizontally; the led headlights are posh, modern and expressive and contribute to give personality to this small Italian roadster. Everything is wrapped with neo-retro style. In other words, what it takes to be successful nowadays.
The market numbers relevant to the small roadsters are not high at all. But this is due to the failure of previous shortsighted products where the RWD was traded with the lower production costs granted by the cheaper (poor) FWD platforms.
Currently the Mx-5 is the only compact rear wheel driven roadster available! And the Mx-5 is both an halo car and a sales successful car. On the other hand, the 124 Spider, is meant to be more an halo exertion for Fiat, than a high volume seller. The market response could surprise even the Italian constructor.
In order to understand the importance of such products, shall be taken into consideration Honda’s global boss, Takahiro Hachigo words reported by the British magazine Autocar: Hachigo admitted that Honda had damaged its image by “abandoning” products such as the S2000 that had a strong reputation and hardcore fan base.
We are confident that the right products have some good potential. And the Fiat 124 Spider is a true driver’s car
Will the 124 Spider be able to dare the MX-5? It will depend on a few factors:
The Reputation. Fiat needs to rebuild it for this kind of car: the original 124 Spider was born during the sixties, while Mazda has for years been synonymous of roadster with the MX-5 that is now arrived to the fourth generation.
The Performances. Performances assured by the 4-cylinder turbo are, on paper, better if compared with the atmospheric 1.5 Mazda mill. And if the Japanese can also count on a 1.8cc displacement engine, the unit by Fiat can be declined in various power release. The question is: will be just as exciting and well integrated with the car? A windy road, possibly along the coast will tell us.
Uh, the Abarth 124 Spider…has been already spotted during a roadtest! Stay tuned...