The Fiat 124 Spider, an Italian job of the new Mazda MX-5, has been caught undisguised at a Los Angeles photo shoot.
Snapped by US website Autoblog.com, our first look at the Fiat version of the latest Mazda roadster reveals new front and rear styling … and that’s about it. Larger headlights give the 124 Spyder a less ‘squinty’ face than the MX-5, while the grille has been raised with two separate grille sections.
The A-pillars and header rail have also been switched to thicker chrome compared with the Mazda’s body colour.
Maserati-esque square tail-lights also give a clear nod to the original 124, and the number plate recess has been moved from lower bumper (as in the MX-5) to just below the bootlid.
There appears to be even less change inside, with the red Fiat badge stuck onto the steering wheel seemingly the only change. It appears the 124 Spider will share the MX-5’s excellent rotary-dial controls for the infotainment system, though it’s unclear whether both will share the MZD-Connect software.
Although the spied example shows off an automatic transmission, which is set to be a Fiat dual-clutch, a manual is expected to be available, too. More change is likely to lie under the bonnet, with a choice of 1.4- and 1.75-litre turbocharged four-cylinder engines to be available in the 124 Spider and Abarth version, respectively.
For the Australian market, we may only see the performance Abarth version; a roadster that Fiat’s local product manager has told MOTOR will be a true Abarth in sound and character (read more here). That is likely to mean the Abarth 124 Spider will feel very different to the dainty, modestly powered MX-5, despite utilising the same rear-drive chassis.
The Fiat 124 Spider and its Abarth flagship are both due to debut at the Los Angeles motor show in November.
(Picture credit: autoblog.com)