The All New Fiat 124 Spider in Review & it’s all Good!

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Fiat has returned to the roadster market after more than a decade absent. The fondly recalled Barchetta was actually the last open-top two-seater made by the Italian firm, but as that was essentially a Punto underneath (and the new model is rear-drive), the naming convention harks back to the Pininfarina-penned 124 Sport Spider of 1960s vintage.

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Where the Mazda MX-5 is all sexy curves, sharp Japanese detailing, and functional touches, the Fiat is, well, classically Italian. Those corners Mazda sacrificed on the altar of light weight are yanked out and squared-off front and rear, taffy-pulled into a modern interpretation of the original Fiat Spider’s natty design.

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Fiat decided to ditch Mazda’s naturally aspirated 1.5 and 2.0-litre engines for its own 1.4-litre turbocharged four-cylinder.

“We wanted the extra torque and driveability of a turbo” explains the 124’s validation manager (i.e set-up wizard) Domenico Bagnasco.

Fortunately, the dollop of torque gives the Spider a totally different character to the MX-5, so the logistical nightmare of building it has paid off.

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Look past the Fiat’s badge-engineered roots and you’ll discover a talented and desirable roadster. With its turbocharged engine, suspension tweaks and slightly more upmarket interior, the 124 Spider has a more grown-up character that’s all its own. It’s slightly easier to live with than the Mazda MX-5 day-to-day, which for many buyers will make it a more attractive proposition. More importantly, fans of fun and affordable roadsters should celebrate the fact that there’s now an alternative to the Mazda MX-5, even if it’s effectively the same car under the skin.

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The Fiat 124 Spider is one of the most exciting roadsters launched in recent years. Previous Fiat sports cars have been beautiful and desirable, but they’ve also been somewhat compromised: the Fiat Barchetta from 1995 was only available in left-hand drive, for instance.

With the 124 Spider, Fiat has built a car that not only looks great and offers the driving thrills a roadster should, but as it’s based on the Mazda MX-5 roadster, the 124 Spider is a also well-built and useable car for everyday driving.

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Be one of the first to get your hands on one by calling us on 01772 471 465

http://www.prestonmotorpark.co.uk

 

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