After some teasing and spy shots and plenty of anticipation, the Fiat 124 Spider has made its official debut ahead of the 2015 Los Angeles Auto Show. The new Italian roadster is based upon the ND-generation Mazda Miata, however there’s several important differences that set it apart from the well-known Japanese sportscar from it’s derived.
Let’s start with the exterior. The new 124 Spider is designed to pay homage to the original 124 Spider – which first debuted nearly 50 years ago. No body panels from the Miata are carried over, with the 124 boasting its own uniquely Italian design. Fiat says it has a “timeless low-slung presence,” with a “classically beautiful bodyside,” and some unmistakably Fiat styling cues such as a hexagonal grille pattern, ‘power domes’ on the hood and sharp rear tail lamps.
Another important difference is the engine. Fiat’s barky MultiAir 1.4-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine from the 500 Abarth can be found under the hood emitting a healthy 160 horsepower and 184 lb.-ft. of torque. Like the Miata, both a six-speed manual and six-speed automatic transmission will be available.
The cabin of the 124 Spider is nearly identical to the Miata. Apart from trading the Mazda badges for a prominent red Fiat badge, there are pretty much no differences between the Japanese roadster and the German. The same 7-inch touchscreen is carried over, as are the HVAC controls, steering wheel and gauge cluster. Also like the Miata, a nine-speaker Bose stereo system can be optioned – though the 1.4-liter’s emotive exhaust might sound a bit better than the driver’s iTunes playlists.
At launch, the 124 Spider will available in entry-level ‘Classica’ trim and higher-end ‘Lusso’ trim. A limited-edition Prima Edizione Lusso trim-level will also be available from the get-go and will be individually numbered and feature a commemorative badge along with Azzurro Italia Blue exterior paint and Saddle brown leather upholstery.
Pricing for the 124 Spider has yet to be announced. Considering it’s slightly larger and slightly more powerful than the ND Miata, we’re going to take a well-educated guess and say it will be slightly more expensive than the $25,735 Japanese drop-top.