The Fiat 124 Spider's 1.4-Liter Turbo Is Heard for the First Time

The Fiat 124 Spider's 1.4-liter Turbo Is Heard for the First Time 1 photo
Photo: Screenshot from YouTube
Fiat dealers thought they got a bum deal from Chrysler. Even though they invested lots of money into their showrooms, they initially got to sell only the little Cinquecento. After that came the van-like 500L and the 500X crossover. They will be a lot happier around the middle of next year, which is when the 124 Spider will arrive in force.
The model was unveiled earlier this week at the 2015 Los Angeles Auto Show. Even though it's just a Mazda MX-5 Miata with new body panels and an Abarth engine, people are calling it the most important Fiat launched in a decade.

With a simple folding roof, compact dimensions and rear-wheel-drive, this car has fun all spelled out. However, all that means naught if the exhaust isn't right. After all, we predict a ballpark price in the same region as a Ford Mustang EcoBoost.

Yesterday, Jalopnik released a 13-second clip of the "Fiata" driving through an underground garage. We only had a quick listen, but things didn't sound too good for the little 1.4-liter turbo, which lacked that trademark Abarth raspiness. Now they are back with a 34-second take titled "Now With More Better."

Our initial impressions seem to be confirmed by the discreet top end delivery. Nonetheless, it's got a nice burbling sound while at idle.

The Europeans are going to get a tuned Abarth version later on, but their 124 Spider is already down to 140 horsepower, so it needs it. The question thus turns to the likelihood of a US-spec 124 Abarth and what areas it needs to touch on.

Fiat's North American boss left plenty of wiggle room when he came on stage at the LA Auto Show. His speech would have led you to believe that the Italian spider is a smaller version of the Mercedes SL-Class because he only talked about comfort, a well-insulated cabin, and numerous safety systems.

Despite its potential aural shortcomings, the Fiat 124 Spider will be successful, raising the awareness for the Fiat brand. Even though it will cost about the same as a faster and more powerful Volkswagen GTI, people still want to have fun in the sun.

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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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