Fiat 124 Spider for Europe Has Only 140 HP and a Manual Gearbox

Fiat 124 Spider 7 photos
Photo: Fiat
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The wait is finally, nearly, almost over, as Fiat has revealed that 124 Spider. The sporty two-seater that could have been an Alfa Romeo or an Abarth is built on the bones of the all-new Mazda MX-5. Of course, you already know that thanks to the story we published a few hours ago. However, you don't yet know about the European model.
Yes, it's different from the one sold in the United States. We've checked the press releases for both the British and Italian markets, and they both confirm that the output of the 1.4-liter turbo engine is lower: 140 PS (138 bhp) and 240 Nm (177 lb-ft) of torque. That means Fiat will sell its roadster with barely any extra power compared to the basic MX-5 1.5L and 20 PS less than the Japanese model with the 2.0-liter Skyactiv unit. Bummer!

Given these changes, we suspect the Fiat 124 Spider will be able to go from 0 to 100 km/h in about 7.5 seconds. You'd better not challenge a Ford Fiesta ST to a drag race, or you will lose embarrassingly.

An Abarth version of the car has already been confirmed, but that only means it would cost more and offer the same kind of performance the American model gets as standard.

Another weird thing is that Fiat intentionally omits to talk about the automatic model. For a super-lightweight roadster meant to be driven on special occasions, a six-speed manual is what you need. But since the engine is turbocharged, which goes against Mazda's philosophy, won't some of the customers treat the 124 as a small GT?

Knowing how Sergio Marchionne's company operates, the automatic model will come out next year and be marketed as an all-new reincarnation of a car from 40 years ago that everybody forgot. They'll slap new paint on it and ask €5,000 extra. Why? Because they're Italians, and they do whatever the heck they want. If you don't like it, you can buy a small, light RWD roadster from the Germans. Oh wait, you can't!

The Fiat 124 Spider will start rolling off the production line (in Japan) in 2016. On the outside, the only body bits shared with the MX-5 are the windshield, front pillars and door handles. However, the cabin is all Mazda.
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About the author: Mihnea Radu
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Mihnea's favorite cars have already been built, the so-called modern classics from the '80s and '90s. He also loves local car culture from all over the world, so don't be surprised to see him getting excited about weird Japanese imports, low-rider VWs out of Germany, replicas from Russia or LS swaps down in Florida.
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