The lid has been lifted on the new Fiat 124 Spider – almost half a century after its namesake shook up the sports car scene of the Swinging Sixties.
Due to hit UK streets next autumn, the Spider comes with the promise of classic Italian styling and pure driving pleasure for a new generation.
For some years the Mazda MX-5 has had the affordable two-seater roadster market pretty much sewn up.
But now there’s going to be a serious rival to the Japanese big seller, and it draws its inspiration from that iconic Fiat of 50 years ago.
Featuring a turbo-charged petrol and rear-wheel drive, the 124 has been designed at Centro Stile in Turin.
And the position of its LED headlamps along with the hexagonal upper grille, also draw on the details of the classic roadster while the newcomer’s bonnet emulates the twin power domes of the second-generation Fiat 124 Spider.
At the rear, there are ‘seagull’ wings and sharp horizontal tail lamps plus an integrated rear spoiler and twin exhausts.
The soft top has spring-assisted opening and closing – eliminating the need for a power assist system – and even the Fiat’s seat structure is designed with roof operation in mind.
Fiat says the rear windscreen frame has been designed to guide the wind above occupants’ heads towards the rear of the car while special care has been given to the reduction of noise, vibration and harshness.
Fiat is also promising a raft of safety, stability and infotainment technologies ranging from adaptive headlamps and reversing camera to 3D sat-nav and a seven-inch touchscreen display.
Pricing and final specifications will be announced close to launch.