Reviews 2017 Fiat 124 Spider: Is This The Best Miata Ever?

20:12  18 may  2017
20:12  18 may  2017 Source:   Forbes

First Drive: 2017 Mazda MX-5 Miata RF

  First Drive: 2017 Mazda MX-5 Miata RF Retractable Fastback provides a more premium Miata experienceMazda developed the Retractable Fastback to preserve the Miata's already minimal trunk space, which would be impacted considerably if a traditional convertible hard top,like that of the NC-generation Miata PRHT's, was used,due to the new ND Miata's smaller size. Instead, the RF loses just 0.11 cubic feet of cargo space, so there's still enough room in the back for a duffel bag.

For a quarter century, the Mazda Miata has been one of the very best cars any enthusiast could buy. And thus, the Fiat 124 Spider was born. It’s the way it’s ever -so-slightly better proportioned.

The best - ever version of the Mazda Miata may well be the Italian-badged Fiat 124 Spider Abarth. 2017 Fiat 124 Abarth[/caption]. At the recent New York Auto Show, Fiat Chrysler unveiled the quickest and most powerful production car it has ever built, the 2018 Dodge Challenger Demon.

At the recent New York Auto Show, Fiat Chrysler unveiled the quickest and most powerful production car it has ever built, the 2018 Dodge Challenger Demon. This isn’t the first time that Chrysler has used the Demon name — it first appeared on a variant of the early-1970s Dart and then again on 2007 two-seat roadster concept. While the latter Demon never made it production, its spirit lives on in the form of the new Fiat 124 Spider, which in most respects is the anti-Demon as far as FCA performance models go.

2017 Mazda MX-5 Miata RF

  2017 Mazda MX-5 Miata RF The curious case of the Miata not-coupe.Mazda has never built a true Miata coupe, the closest examples being a couple of Japan-market fixed-hardtop conversions and the Power Retractable Hardtop (PRHT) introduced on the previous, NC generation. Perhaps the closest yet is the sexpot MX-5 Miata RF we just drove, even if it really is an extension of the PRHT branch of the family tree. To put a finer point on the RF, its closest current analogue just might be the far pricier Porsche 911 Targa, being a demi-convertible with a similarly functioning top mechanism.

The best - ever version of the Mazda Miata may well be the Italian-badged Fiat 124 Spider Abarth. 2017 Fiat 124 Abarth[/caption]. At the recent New York Auto Show, Fiat Chrysler unveiled the quickest and most powerful production car it has ever built, the 2018 Dodge Challenger Demon.

2017 Fiat 124 Spider first drive: More than a Miata with an Italian accent. It'll feel familiar, sure, but Fiat 's roadster Even if you drive it like you mean it, you’ll never be stung by a tail-dislocating surge of power; wherever you're at in the power band, handling remains as predictable and progressive as ever .


2017 fiat 124-spider
fiat 124-spider

Over the span of two decades from the late-1980s through the global financial collapse of 2008, the designers at Chrysler headquarters in Auburn Hills, Mich., created a dizzying array of concept vehicles of all shapes and sizes. While the Dodge Viper and Plymouth Prowler made it to production, several other promising sports car concepts only got as far as the auto show stand. Among those were several Dodges, the 1997 Copperhead, 2002 Razor and the aforementioned 2007 Demon that each could have been challengers to the Mazda Miata.

Ironically, in the post-bankruptcy world of FCA, it took the help of Mazda itself to make it a reality but we now finally have a roadster to take on the Japanese icon, the Fiat 124 Spider. The FCA/Mazda partnership was originally expected to spawn an Alfa Romeo Spider but the desire to build all Alfas in Italy put the kibosh on that plan. Instead, Mazda’s Hiroshima factory is now turning out a roadster with an Italian powerplant and styling that sort of hints at the 124 Spiders that were produced from 1966 to 1982.

Milan Cops Seize Mafia Ferrari 458 Spider, Add It to Police Car Fleet

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Forbes: 2017 Fiat 124 Spider : Is This The Best Miata Ever ? For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome.

2017 Fiat 124 Spider - Is This The Best Miata Ever ? The best - ever version of the Mazda Miata may well be the Italian-badged Fiat 124 Spider Abarth.

While the headlights, grille and rear haunches of the new Spider hint at the earlier car, this is actually a pretty significantly different design from both its forebear and the Miata. Like the Mazda, the new Fiat has its cabin set well back on the chassis with most of the engine behind the front axle. The old Fiat had a more equal balance between the bodywork ahead of behind the car giving it more delicate proportions. Compared to the Mazda, the Fiat also has longer overhangs for an extra five-inches of length on the same 90.6-inch wheelbase.

Despite sharing its soft-top, glass and windshield frame, the overall difference is surprisingly significant. When I first saw the 124, I wasn’t particularly taken by its new face, but it has grown on me over time, particularly the headlight treatment.

Anyone that has checked out a contemporary Mazda will instantly feel right at home in the Spider. Aside from some revised upholstery, airbag cover and shift knob, this is completely stock 2017 Miata right down to the display on top of the dash along with the control and volume knobs on the center console. It’s nice to see that Mazda and FCA have not compromised the essential nature of this as a driver’s car by trying to force-fit cup-holders into the center console. You sit down low in this car and the console wraps around the gearbox and driveshaft running down the middle. The cup-holder looks like an afterthought tacked onto the right side of the tunnel.

The Dodge Demon Was Nearly a Miata-Sized Roadster

  The Dodge Demon Was Nearly a Miata-Sized Roadster A far cry from Dodge's upcoming drag monster.You may recall the 2007 Demon Concept, pictured above, a little two-seater that made its debut at the Geneva Motor show ten years ago. The 2007 Demon was an ambitious car–it had a bespoke rear-drive platform, 2600-lb curb weight, a 172-hp four-cylinder, and a six-speed manual gearbox. And with a $15,000 base price, Dodge wanted the Demon to be an affordable, approachable alternative to the Viper.

Go ahead, write off the new 2017 Fiat 124 Spider two-seat roadster as a Mazda Miata wearing Italian rally drag. But the current Miata gearbox feels better still. It takes a slight moment for the turbo to spool up, and then it tips in rather than hitting hard.

Fiat 124 Forum is a community dedicated to the Fiat 124 Spider . Get all the latest Fiat 124 news Fiat 124 Spider News Fiat 124 Spider General Discussion Forum

2017 Fiat 124 Abarth© Provided by Forbes Media LLC 2017 Fiat 124 Abarth

In most applications, I’m a fan of Mazda’s control layout with a larger central knob similar to BMW’s i-Drive and a neighboring smaller knob for volume control. However, with the aforementioned seating position, the volume can actually be a bit awkward to reach and twist. Fortunately the steering wheel controls make that a non-issue. Once you get past the Fiat boot-up splash screen on the infotainment system, the rest is completely stock Mazda. The design is OK, better than most, but I’d still rather have my Android Auto, especially since the voice recognition seemed a bit iffy on this car.


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Like the Mazda, the visors are surprisingly flimsy molded plastic pieces that aren’t thick enough to hold a garage door opener. If you own either the Fiat or Mazda versions of this car, you’ll want to program the homelink buttons and leave the remote at home.

Ultimately however, a car like this is all about the driving experience and thankfully the few changes made by Fiat all seem to be for the better. The most notable divergence from the Mazda is the powerplant. While Mazda’s naturally aspirated SkyActiv engines are lovely machines, they don’t offer the wealth of low-end torque that many of us have come to appreciate from modern turbocharged engines.

2017 Fiat 500X

  2017 Fiat 500X 2017 Fiat 500X

The 2017 Fiat 124 Spider is the best of all worlds; it has Italian design and performance with Japanese engineering. Our man Ballaban says it’s even better than the Miata . Only One Country Has Ever Voluntarily Given Up Its Nukes. Yesterday 4:56pm.

Cooley On Cars. On the road: 2017 Fiat 124 Spider . The 124 Spider was the biggest hit Fiat ever had in the US. And now it's back. Look at the body. This a homerun. They did Miata better than Mazda.

FCA has replaced the Miata’s 2.0-liter engine with the same 1.4-liter turbo four found in the 500 Abarth. Where the Mazda engine generates 155-hp, the Fiat powerplant does 160-hp in base trim and 164-hp with the revised four-outlet exhaust of the Abart. Given that the extended bodywork of the Fiat adds about 100-pounds to the modest 2,322-pound mass of the Miata, the extra 9-hp doesn’t really make a noteable difference. What does make a difference however, is the jump from the Mazda’s 148 lb-ft of torque at 4,600 rpm to the Fiat’s 184 lb-ft at just 2,500.

That extra torque enhances around town driveability and gives that little bit extra oomph required to rebalance the car coming out of a turn. While the 124 is no drift machine, the turbo’s bottom end beefiness is sufficient to help bring the tail around just enough to keep you pointed toward the exit. I’m always an advocate for more torque but I’m also a firm believer in driving a slow car fast mantra. The beauty of the Miata has always been the ability to explore its limits at speeds that require you to buy a multi-hundred thousand dollar membership at some motorsports country club.

Given that Fiat Chrysler is a manufacturer so fond of throwing restraint out the window with cars like the Viper, Demon and Grand Cherokee Trackhawk, the relatively modest upgrade to the Fiat’s torque curve is particularly admirable. Combined with the incredibly capable chassis that Mazda developed, the Spider is a gem in all-around driving.

2017 Mazda MX-5 Miata RF Manual

  2017 Mazda MX-5 Miata RF Manual This Miata wants to be more than a fair-weather friend.But what if your roadster is your only ride? Then you have little choice but to don mittens, mount winter tires, and tough out the frosty months. Or you could cast your lot with a Mazda MX-5 Miata RF, which offers two-seat convertibility year-round.

Fiat 124 Spider Abarth Forum is an enthusiast community for the Fiat 124 Spider Abarth. Get all the 124 Spider Abarth News 124 Spider Abarth News

Go to permalink. We’ve known pretty much what the newly-reborn Fiat 124 Spider is going to look like ever since we got those spy photos back in September. I’ve driven the new Miata and found it to be extremely enjoyable, and I think the 124 has even better looks (I prefer the front end to the Miata

Throughout Chrysler’s remarkable run of concept cars I was one of those enthusiasts that frequently lamented the fact that they never opted to produce an affordable sports car. In retrospect, given the company’s increasingly shaky financial position, it’s probably for the best that they never did. Whatever they would have produced then likely would have turned out as half-baked as the Prowler or the Pontiac Solstice, sourced from the parts bin of far less fun machines.

Instead, the partnership with Mazda has yielded a near perfect roadster with a top that I could raise or lower with one hand in about 3 seconds without even unbuckling the seatbelt. If it starts to rain, slow down a bit, reach back with your right hand, release the top, pull it up and clamp it to the header. In more than a quarter century of Miatas, this system hasn’t really changed and it remains the best convertible top in the world. The Fiat Spider starts at the same $25,000 as the Mazda and my loaded Abarth tester with the navigation package and Brembo brakes came to just under $35,000 delivered.

Personally, I’d keep the brakes but lose the $4,000 option package with the leather, navigation, premium audio and a few other non-essential features. With a car like this, who cares if you get lost along the way? Just more reason to keep driving, and the engine makes a more wonderful soundtrack than anything you’d play on the stereo anyway.

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