We loved the Fiat 124 Spider when we tested it, after all based on the Mazda Mx-5 but wearing Italian clothes what’s not to love, unfortunately the bosses at FCA don’t seem to feel the same way and both the Fiat and Abarth versions have been pulled from the UK some time ago, not it seem’s the return of the 124 Spider is unlikely, which is a shame.
Speaking at a meeting in Turin recently, Fiat CEO Olivier François stated that any successor to the 124 Spider was unlikely as the brand has “no legitimacy” in this field, as Fiat concentrates on expanding and evolving the 500 family, it see’s any Sports car within it’s range not necessary.
Compared to the 500 range the 124 Spider makes Fiat a lot less money, after all it is built in the factory with the Mazda MX-5 on which it shares a platform and when you factor in cost of shipping Fiat/Abarth engines to Japan for the 124 Spider and any fluctuation in currency, despite it making sense from a car point of view the accounts probably don’t add up to justify the continued partnership.
Earlier this year, speaking about the 124’s future François said; “The 124 market is a niche one, it is profitable business for us – but only because of the joint venture.” said François. “It was an opportunity and we took it. It makes money and it adds a certain cool factor.
“But I accept that such a car may not be key to the future of the brand. It is not what I’d call a pure, absolute Fiat, but for now, it remains an interesting opportunity.”
If the 124 Spider really won’t see a successor then that is a great shame, the current version is a fantastic car and with a brand like Fiat who have had some pretty cool sports cars in their range over the years from the original 124 Spider to others such as the 850 spider, Coupe, Barchetta, to not have one, we can’t help but think it would be missing a trick, in a world dominated by SUV’s and Crossovers, a Sports Car is cool and cool is good.