Fiat will reportedly travel to next November’s Los Angeles Motor Show to introduce a highly anticipated new roadster dubbed 124 Spider. When it bows, the convertible will be billed as a heir to the original 124 Spider (pictured) that was introduced in 1966 and sold under a handful of names and brands until 1985.
The 124 Spider will ride on the same platform as the new fourth-generation Mazda MX-5 Miata but the similarities between the two will stop there. Designers from both Fiat and Mazda have gone to great lengths to avoid ending up with badge-engineered twins like the Scion FR-S and the Subaru BRZ. What the 124 will look like is up in the air but sources close to Fiat have hinted that the roadster will not adopt a full-on retro design in spite of its heritage-laced nameplate.
Inside, the MX-5 and the 124 will share a few minor bits and pieces such as stalks, buttons and switches. Major components like the dashboard, the seats and the steering wheel will be designed in-house by Fiat, and the infotainment system will be pulled directly out of the Fiat-Chrysler parts bin.
Mechanically, the 124 Spider will be launched with a turbocharged 1.4-liter MultiAir four-cylinder engine that is currently found in a large number of Fiat-Chrysler products including the Europe-only Alfa Romeo Giulietta, the Jeep Renegade and the Fiat 500X. Most likely linked to an enthusiast-friendly six-speed manual transmission, the MultiAir mill is expected to make anywhere between 140 and 170 horsepower in its most basic state of tune.
Fiat is keeping its lips sealed about the 124 so whether or not we’ll see it in the City of Angels is anyone’s guess. What’s all but certain is that the 124 Spider is scheduled to debut before the end of the year, so if the report isn’t accurate it means the ragtop will make its first public appearance at the Frankfurt Motor Show.
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