Fiat Chrysler Automobile announced Monday that the 2017 Fiat 124 Spider, which shares many of the same underpinnings as the Mazda MX-5, will have a starting price of $33,495 –almost $1,600 more than the base MSRP of its rival Japanese cousin.
Fancier trim levels for the Fiat – Lusso and Abarth – are priced at $36,495 and $37,995, respectively. For comparison’s sake, the MX-5 starts at $31,900 for the GX model, jumps to $35,300 for the GS, and $39,200 for the GT.
The new Fiat 124 – introduced last November at the Los Angeles Auto Show – features an MX-5 chassis, with styling and drivetrain by Fiat, and a continuation of the classic 124 Spider nameplate first introduced 50 years ago.
The collaboration between FCA and Mazda was originally supposed to birth a small Alfa Romeo roadster. However, Alfa decided to develop its own sports car based on the firm’s new rear-drive architecture, rather than use the Japanese-built Mazda. But the partnership didn’t die, with the MX-5 chassis being picked up by Fiat to underpin this new 124. The styling isn’t much different from the MX-5, although it was done entirely in-house by Fiat at Centro Stile in Turin, Italy.
The Fiat’s engine is a 1.4-litre turbocharged four-cylinder that puts out 160 horsepower and 184 lb-ft of torque on the base Classica and Lusso models. Horsepower jumps to 165 on the Abarth. That’s more power and more torque than the MX-5, which produces 155 horses and 148 lb-ft of torque. The turbocharged Fiat will deliver all its torque lower in the rev range, which would give it a different character behind the wheel. A six-speed manual transmission is standard.
Fiat first revealed the first 124 Spider at the 1966 Turin Motor Show. The vehicle remained in production for almost 20 years.
– with files from Matt Bubbers
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