BEVERLY HILLS, California — The 2017 Fiat 124 Spider convertible, which shares a rear-wheel-drive platform with the redesigned 2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata, will arrive at Fiat dealerships in 2016 after a debut later this year.
At a recent Fiat event here, Jason Stoicevich, head of Fiat Brand for North America, would not confirm the timetable for the car's world debut or U.S. sales date, but he said the 124 Spider "is a logical car for our brand."
"There is a ton of heritage behind that," he said in an interview. "I think that just kind of puts the bow on the showroom for us and fills it out completely."
The original Fiat 124 Sport Spider was a small 2+2 convertible that was marketed by Fiat from 1966-'80. Unknown is whether the 2017 Fiat 124 Spider will be a two-passenger or 2+2 convertible.
"The 124 Spider is a very recognizable car name," Stoicevich said. "People had a great experience with it so there is this nostalgia around it. It makes perfect sense for the Fiat brand."
Fiat-Chrysler had considered marketing the 124 Spider as an Alfa Romeo. However, it later decided that Alfa Romeo's pedigree required all vehicles to be engineered and designed in-house.
Fiat's small convertible will share a rear-wheel-drive platform with the redesigned 2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata, but apparently little else.
Asked if the 124 Spider's design will be similar to the Miata, Stoicevich said: "No, it will not be a rebadged (Miata). We will have our own style, our own stamp on it."
Industry sources tell Edmunds that Fiat's 1.4-liter four-cylinder engine likely will be under the hood of the 124 Spider. The MX-5 Miata is powered by Mazda's 155-horsepower 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine. Both vehicles will be assembled at Mazda's Hiroshima, Japan plant.
Fiat has not announced 124 Spider pricing, but it is expected to be similar to the MX-5 Miata's base price of $25,735, including an $820 destination charge. The MX-5 Miata arrives at Mazda dealerships this summer.
Edmunds says: Car shoppers looking for some drop-top fun will want to consider the Fiat 124 Spider convertible.