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Tom Suddard
Tom Suddard GRM+ Memberand Associate Editor, Grassroots Motorsports & Classic Motorsports
6/10/16 1:09 a.m.

Nearly 50 years after the original Fiat 124 Spider was introduced to America, Fiat is back with an all-new 124 Spider. This rear-wheel-drive roadster gives the Mazda Miata its first real competition in years, costing just $80 more at its $24,995 base price.

Funny thing about that: Fiat's new Spider is based on a Miata chassis, and we don't mean it shares a few bolt sizes. Underneath, the two cars are almost identical, but the Fiat sports new bodywork and the turbocharged 1.4-liter engine from the 500 Abarth....

Read the rest of the story

revrico
revrico HalfDork
6/10/16 1:19 a.m.

Ok, this actually was worth staying up late to read. It sounds even better than had been hinted at, and looks absolutely gorgeous in that blue.

Did the non hp related changes to the Abarth model make much difference in feel and driveability on course and on highway?

Tom Suddard
Tom Suddard GRM+ Memberand Associate Editor, Grassroots Motorsports & Classic Motorsports
6/10/16 1:21 a.m.

Yes, they did, and I would absolutely spring for the Abarth as soon as a clever salesman said "It's only an extra $XX per month!"

Unfortunately, I didn't get a chance to drive it on the street. Only a few exist at this point, and they were stuck at the autocross course.

Mark_Booth
Mark_Booth New Reader
6/10/16 1:34 a.m.

Thanks, Tom! Great review (the best I've read so far).

Mark

Mitchell
Mitchell UberDork
6/10/16 2:06 a.m.

Shame that the blue is a limited edition. It is beautiful.

Jerry
Jerry UltraDork
6/10/16 6:36 a.m.

I'm not a convertible fan, but damn this other Abarth sounds tempting.

alfadriver
alfadriver GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
6/10/16 6:59 a.m.

Nice- and thanks for the comparisons.

I still find it interesting how focused we are as enthusiasts that we want ultra flat cornering. Back when the original 124 was out, cars like it and the Alfas handled really well, but had pretty soft set ups. My Alfa leans a lot in corners.

Having a soft/"leany" car corner so well is a very good thing.

A few years ago, when that car was supposed to have a different badge, it was #1 on my future buy list. At least with this review, it's gone back up some.

mazdeuce
mazdeuce UltimaDork
6/10/16 7:05 a.m.

This is an exciting car.

IndyJoe
IndyJoe Dork
6/10/16 7:15 a.m.

The want it Strong for this one. What a good looking car. I'm glad to hear they're using the NC transmission, instead of the (apparently weaker) ND Miata unit. Very well written article Tom. Thanks.

David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens Editorial Director, Grassroots Motorsports & Classic Motorsports
6/10/16 7:51 a.m.

I'm a sucker for a flat black hood, so you know which way I'm leaning.

David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens Editorial Director, Grassroots Motorsports & Classic Motorsports
6/10/16 8:42 a.m.
mazdeuce wrote: This is an exciting car.

Very much so. Plus it gives our world another real sports car. In a day of self-driving cars and SUVs and automatic gearboxes, this is big, big news.

singleslammer
singleslammer GRM+ Memberand UberDork
6/10/16 8:46 a.m.

In reply to Tom Suddard:

Ah, the youth is really coming through on this here article!

I joke, best words, much excite

mikeatrpi
mikeatrpi Reader
6/10/16 8:48 a.m.
alfadriver wrote: A few years ago, when that car was supposed to have a different badge, it was #1 on my future buy list.

What's this about?

pointofdeparture
pointofdeparture PowerDork
6/10/16 8:49 a.m.

In reply to mikeatrpi:

It was originally supposed to be an Alfa Romeo until Sergio decreed that all Alfas must be built in Italy. Then it became a Fiat.

Powar
Powar GRM+ Memberand UltraDork
6/10/16 8:55 a.m.

Yeah. I'm going to need one of these.

Furious_E
Furious_E HalfDork
6/10/16 8:55 a.m.

Well thanks, Tom. Now you have me calculating monthly payments on an Abarth...

Tom Suddard
Tom Suddard GRM+ Memberand Associate Editor, Grassroots Motorsports & Classic Motorsports
6/10/16 9:13 a.m.
singleslammer wrote: In reply to Tom Suddard: Ah, the youth is really coming through on this here article! I joke, best words, much excite

KyAllroad
KyAllroad UltraDork
6/10/16 9:18 a.m.

Interesting about the choice of transmissions. With the new and improved ND box going kablooey, choosing the old and proven NC tranny is a clever idea.

David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens Editorial Director, Grassroots Motorsports & Classic Motorsports
6/10/16 9:25 a.m.

I wonder how easily that NC transmission bolts to the 500 engine. Rear-drive 500, anyone?

Robbie
Robbie GRM+ Memberand SuperDork
6/10/16 9:27 a.m.
David S. Wallens wrote: I wonder how easily that NC transmission bolts to the 500 engine. Rear-drive 500, anyone?

I was wondering how well the 500 engine bolts up to the NC...

David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens Editorial Director, Grassroots Motorsports & Classic Motorsports
6/10/16 9:32 a.m.
Robbie wrote:
David S. Wallens wrote: I wonder how easily that NC transmission bolts to the 500 engine. Rear-drive 500, anyone?
I was wondering how well the 500 engine bolts up to the NC...

Well, that, too. I like the way you think.

PHeller
PHeller PowerDork
6/10/16 9:35 a.m.

It is funny reading such journalism, much youth, invigorated.

David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens Editorial Director, Grassroots Motorsports & Classic Motorsports
6/10/16 9:36 a.m.

Speaking as the editor, yes, it was a fun, youthful read. And I'm totally cool with that. It's genuine.

Robbie
Robbie GRM+ Memberand SuperDork
6/10/16 9:57 a.m.
Tom Suddard wrote:

Here's a thought. I think the fiat looks much more like the NC miata than it does the ND miata. (pics below for reference).

Sooo, IF in fact the fiat looks more like the NC than the ND, what does that mean in design language? Could it mean that more people will more likely initially like the looks of the fiat because they are 'used to' the looks of the NC? Could it mean that the looks of the fiat will become dated more quickly?

Lesley
Lesley PowerDork
6/10/16 9:57 a.m.

Nice work Tom. Wish they hadn't separated us Canuckians (the wall starts already...). I'd love to read more detail on your drive experience.. Bet it was interesting

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