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Fiat 124 Spider

The independent definitive Fiat 124 Spider video review
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    ALONG CAME A SPIDER.... (some text hidden)

    By Jonathan Crouch

    Fiat borrows a familiar name for its latest affordable open-top model - and it runs on familiar underpinnings too. Jonathan Crouch looks at the brand's appealing little 124 Spider.

    Ten Second Reviewword count: 44

    Fiat is at last back in the roadster market with this appealing little 124 Spider model. There's nothing especially innovative about the familiar engine and borrowed underpinnings but everything's been woven together into a desirable package that offers a tempting blend of Latin flair.

    Backgroundword count: 115

    It's been over ten years since Fiat brought us an open-topped roadster - the much-loved Barchetta. That was based on front-driven Punto architecture and sold only in limited numbers. This 124 Spider though, looks to have much more than that to offer, its name referencing the Pininfarina-designed 124 Sport Spider of the 1960s. This modern model borrows its underpinnings from the best affordable roadster on the market, Mazda's MX-5, though Fiat has decided to fit its own 1.4-litre MultiAir turbo engine beneath the bonnet to replace the 1.5 and 2.0-litre normally aspirated units used by Mazda. The idea is to bring the authentic, Italian roadster driving experience to a whole new generation of British enthusiasts.

    Driving Experienceword count: 176

    The design of this 124 Spider may borrow much from Mazda's rival MX-5, but what lies beneath the distinctive bonnet is all Fiat's own. Here, you'll find the brand's proven 1.4-litre MultiAir, turbo-charged four-cylinder petrol engine which delivers 140bhp and 240Nm of torque to the rear wheels via six-speed manual transmission and a compact rear differential. This unit is capable of accelerating to 62mph in 7.5 seconds and has a top speed of 134mph. If that's not enough, there's a pricey Abarth variant with a 170bhp version of this same engine and a limited slip differential to better get torque to the tarmac. The 124 Spider's suspension uses a double-wishbone layout in front and a multilink set-up in the rear, specifically tuned for greater stability while braking and turning, while the dual-pinion electric power steering system has been specifically tuned to give the Spider a responsive, Italian feel. We've yet to drive the car but it should indeed feel different from its MX-5 rival, if only because Mazda declines to use turbocharged power beneath the bonnet.

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    Pictures (high res disabled)

    Statistics (subset of data only)

    Min

    Max

    Combined mpg:

    44.1

    Extra urban mpg:

    55.4

    Height (mm):

    1233

    Length (mm):

    4054

    Max Speed (mph):

    134

    Power ps:

    140

    ... and 3 other stats available

    Scoring (subset of scores)

    Category: Convertibles

    Performance
    60%
    Handling
    80%
    Comfort
    70%
    Space
    70%
    Styling, Build, Value, Equipment, Depreciation, Handling, Insurance and Total scores are available with our full data feed.

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