2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata live photosEnlarge Photo
Fiat Chrysler Automobiles [NYSE:FCAU] CEO Sergio Marchionne confirmed at last month’s Geneva Motor Show that the Fiat brand’s upcoming roadster based on the bones of the latest Mazda MX-5 Miata would revive the 124 Spider name, a name last used on Fiat’s 124 Sport Spider of the 1970s and ‘80s. Now we have a rough idea of when we’ll first see the new car.
Edmunds, citing industry sources, reports that the new Fiat 124 Spider will debut at either the Frankfurt Auto Show in September or the Los Angeles Auto Show in November. The car will then reach showrooms sometime next year, as a 2017 model.
Production will take place at the same Mazda plant in Hiroshima, Japan responsible for the MX-5, though there won’t be much similarity in the cars’ styling, if any at all. To further differentiate the 124 Spider from its Japanese cousin, Fiat is also likely to use its own engine, most likely the 1.4-liter unit found in the 500 range, rather than the 2.0-liter mill found in the Mazda.
Expect pricing for the two cars to be similar (the 2016 MX-5 starts at $25,735, including an $820 destination charge), meaning there will be few direct rivals for the 124 Spider other than the MX-5 itself. Some alternatives will be the MINI Convertible and outgoing Roadster.