The long awaited sports car from Alfa Romeo, built on the Mazda MX-5 platform, has gone through another name change. Now FIAT Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) has revealed that the new sports car will be sold as a Fiat and called the 124 Spider, resurrecting the name after 30 years. This was confirmed by FCA CEO Sergio Marchionne at the Geneva Motor Show.
Three years ago the company confirmed that the fourth-generation MX-5 would form the basis for a new European convertible, which at the time was expected to be badged as an Alfa Romeo. However, it is now known the Mazda-based car will be a Fiat.
Whilst the platform is derived from the new MX-5, the engines will be very different between the Fiat version and the Mazda donor.
Artist’s rendering of the Fiat 124 Spider 2015.
For its MX-5, Mazda will offer two engines with a choice of 1.5 liter or 2.0 liter SkyActiv naturally aspirated four-cylinders, but it is expected that power for the new Fiat roadster will be sourced from within FCA powertrain ranks.
This includes the 1.4 liter T-Jet turbocharged four-cylinder (found in the Abarth 595) and the 179 kW 1.7 liter in the Alfa Romeo 4C and Giulietta QV.
The chassis of both vehicles will share a majority of design features, but the skin will look very distinct, with the Fiat including nostalgic echoes of the 124 roadster of the 1960s.
The last Fiat to sport the 124 Spider badge was only available in Europe and the United States from the mid 60s to mid 80s and had the simple front-engine, rear-wheel drive roadster recipe – the formula Fiat is expected to return to for the new 124 Spider.
Little else is known about the new European roadster, but with the Mazda MX-5 launching later in the year, Fiat’s 124 Spider could be revealed some time in 2016, although a ‘concept’ could precede it.