2019 Fiat 124 Spider Isn’t the Facelift We Were Expecting

2019 Fiat 124 Spider Abarth 9 photos
Photo: Fiat
2019 Fiat 124 Spider2019 Fiat 124 Spider2019 Fiat 124 Spider Abarth2019 Fiat 124 Spider2019 Fiat 124 Spider2019 Fiat 124 Spider Abarth2019 Fiat 124 Spider Abarth2019 Fiat 124 Spider Abarth2019 Fiat 124 Spider Abarth
In addition to the changes announced at the Capital Markets Day 2018, Fiat gets the 124 Spider wrong as well. Even though the Mazda MX-5 has been refreshed for the 2019 model year in every aspect, there’s nothing remotely exciting to be said about the Italian roadster.
Let’s start with the oily bits. As ever, the 1.4-liter MultiAir four-cylinder turbo soldiers on in two states of tune: 160 horsepower and 164 horsepower. Both develop 184 pound-feet. Even though the Japanese counterpart is down on torque (151 pound-feet) because the 2.0-liter SkyActiv-G doesn’t feature turbocharging technology, the MX-5 has the upper hand in terms of ponies (181 horsepower) and redline.

How, in the name of all things holy, is the Mazda more powerful than the 124 Spider Abarth? The simple answer to that is, Fiat couldn’t bother with updating the MultiAir for the 2019 model year. As expressed at the Balocco conference earlier this year, the group would rather focus on electrification and utility vehicles.

“Alright, so what’s new about the 124 Spider after all?” Across all three trim levels (Classica, Lusso, Abarth), you gear a rearview camera and Connect 7.0-inch touchscreen infotainment as standard. The Abarth is now available with the Veleno Appearance Group, consisting of red exterior accents, bright dead pedal, and Abarth branding on the floor mats.

The Record Monza Exhaust, Ceramic Gray exterior paint color, and center-stripe options are also worthy of consideration, along with a reconfigured Technology Group that features SiriusXM satellite radio and Remote Proximity Entry. Having said these, there’s no denying Fiat didn’t do anything to make the 124 Spider more appealing as a driver’s car.

In addition to the lack of anything new in the suck-squeeze-bang-blow department, there’s nothing to talk about regarding the steering, suspension, brakes, torsional rigidity, you name it. Care to guess how does the 124 Spider fares in terms of sales?

Over in the United States, the MX-5 sold 4,691 examples in the second quarter of the year. The Toyota 86 follows with 2,275 units, then there’s the Subaru BRZ with 1,966. The Fiat, meanwhile, struggled to move 1,894 examples in the three-month period.

Love it or hate it, the Fiata is one step behind the MX-5.
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About the author: Mircea Panait
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After a 1:43 scale model of a Ferrari 250 GTO sparked Mircea's interest for cars when he was a kid, an early internship at Top Gear sealed his career path. He's most interested in muscle cars and American trucks, but he takes a passing interest in quirky kei cars as well.
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