Fiat Spider back in US after 30 years

2016 Fiat Spider convertible. Image: Fiat US

STATESIDE QUAYSIDE: 2016 Fiat Spider convertibles after unloading from an ocean-going car carrier. Image: Fiat US

  • Fiat 124 Spider goes West after 30 years
  • Fresh Italian invasion of lightweight sports cars
  • Three versions, two states of tune

AUBURN HILLS, Michigan – Last sold in the United States more than 30 years ago, the iconic is back.

The first shipments of the all-new 2017 Fiat 124 Spider have arrived in Baltimore and San Diego in the US and will be available at Fiat showrooms later in July (2016).

Fiat Spider line-up will include Classica, Lusso and Abarth models and the first 124 units will be limited-edition Prima Edizione Lusso units.

Bob Broderdorf, director of Fiat Brand North America, told The Corner in a media release: “After much anticipation the all-new Fiat 124 Spider is in the US – just in time for the prime convertible season.”

2016 Fiat Spider convertible. Image: Fiat US
COMING ASHORE IN US: 2016 Fiat Spider convertible have arrived in the US via the ports of Baltimore and San Diego. Image: Fiat US

Nearly 50 years earlier, on November 2 1966, the original Fiat 124 Spider was introduced at the Turin auto show. Spider sales started in the US in 1968 and concluded in 1985. Nearly 8000 are still registered in the US.

“The 2017 Fiat 124 Spider,” the Italian automaker says, “brings classic Italian styling and performance to a new generation of buyers. Paying homage to the original 124 Spider, the new cars will deliver the Italian roadster experience with driving excitement, technology and safety combined with iconic design.”

CRASH GOODIES TOO

The cars will come standard with a 1.4-litre MultiAir Turbo four-cylinder engine – its first application in a rear-wheel-drive vehicle. The engine is capable of 120kW/250Nm on Classica and Lusso unts, 123kW/250Nm on Abarth, and be available with wither a six-speed manual or a six-speed auto transmission.

The Spider, we’re told, has a double-wishbone front and rear multi-link suspension with stabiliser bars and electric power-steering.

Crash protection goodies include blind-spot and cross-street traffic monitors and a reversing camera.

Available technology and convenience features include passive entry with keyless ignition, Bluetooth, heatable seats and internet connection.

A spokesperson for Fiat Chrysler in South Africa told The Corner: “We have no plans to release the Fiat Spider in South Africa but plan to release the Abarth Spider during the fourth quarter of 2016.”

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