Add some Italian flair to a Japanese platform, and you’d probably get the perfect recipe for a small roadster – presumably.
Unveiled at the Los Angeles Auto Show, the new Fiat 124 Spider is constructed on the same base as Mazda’s perfectly-balanced drop-top, the MX-5. Mind you, the Fiat’s bodywork has been redesigned, with its silhouette bearing a subtle reminder of its origins.
Although not that striking looking (or as good) as its Nippon counterpart, the Fiat 124 may very well be a tad better than the MX-5, thanks to its 500 Abarth-sourced, 160 hp turbocharged 1.4-litre mill, which could make a good base for a more potent version. But until then, we’re left with a retro-inspired machine that’s somehow the opposite of Mazda’s offering.
Unlike the MX-5, which is a very sharp-looking, poised, naturally-aspirated machine, Fiat’s own take on the matter is much more classical. In fact, the 124 will be available in two different rim levels – called Classica and Lusso (lusso means luxury in Italian) – which kind of underlines the Italian car manufacturer’s need to make the automobile a little more softer, glamorous and fashionable, with a torquier power band in the lower revs, rather than a hard-pushing approach to get the power out.
PS – our comrades at Jalopnik caught a quick glimpse of the 124 Spider giving us a taster of its exhaust sound. See the video below.