Let the official Fiat 124 Spider vs Mazda Miata battle begin.
The Fiat 124 Spider officially returned to the U.S. this week with a sea of 2017 models arriving at ports in San Diego and Baltimore. It’s a big occasion since the roadster hasn’t been sold in the U.S. since 1985. (FYI, Jerry will be driving one for part of the week this week.)
This year also marks the 50th anniversary of the Fiat 124 Spider’s introduction. It debuted on November 2, 1966 and came over to the states in 1968, until its departure in the mid-80s. Fiat says nearly 8,000 are still registered in the U.S. today.
The all-new 2017 model, designed in Italy, will start at $24,995. (The 2016 Mazda Miata sport starts at $24,915.)
The Spider lineup includes Classica, Lusso and Abarth models. The first 124 models will be limited-production Prima Edizione Lusso editions.
The roadster comes standard with a 1.4-liter turbo four-cylinder engine. It’s good for 160-horsepower and 184 pound-feet of torque on Classica and Lusso. It bumps up to 164-horsepower and 184 lb-ft. of torque on the Abarth. Drivers can choose either a six-speed manual transmission (26 mpg city/35 mpg highway) or a six-speed automatic transmission (25 mpg city/36 mpg highway).
The Fiat 124 Spider features double-wishbone front suspension and rear multi-link suspension with stabilizer bars, and tuned electric-power steering system for enhanced handling and fuel efficiency.
Available safety features include Blind-spot Monitoring, Rear Cross Path detection and ParkView rear backup camera. Available technology and convenience features include passive entry with keyless go, Bluetooth connectivity, heated seats, and FIAT Connect.
They arrive in dealerships this summer.