This is a purely speculative post about the news of the 2017 Fiat 124 Spider / Abarth model based on the Mazda MX-5 Miata / Roadster. One of the support series for the Spa 24h event I’m about to embark on is the Trofeo Abarth Europe series which I’m a huge fan of so it’s fresh on my mind to write a few thoughts down.
Why do I care about this model?
Because with my latest purchase of an NC Miata I’m interested in all things to do with the MX-5 model. I think the latest pictures from my marshaling, road trips and foodie tours could attest to that. In 2017 there will be Fiats rolling off the same assembly line as the Miata, and that’s really cool. I’m especially interested in the Abarth model. Perhaps by that time in 2017 on I’ll actually be able to upgrade my personal Miata to it’s replacement, which might as well be an Abarth… or not. It would be cool to look back on the speculation and compare it to reality.
First I wanted to share some renderings of a Fiata out there online:
Kind of important to remember that none of the 2016 Miata renderings were terribly close to the real thing, the ND MX-5. But it’s nice to speculate, and to actually compare what the two cars share in common and what bits could be used from one car on another.
Just because the two cars would roll off the same assembly line doesn’t necessarily mean they’d be identical. It’s important to note that the Ford Mustang and the Mazda 6 rolled off the same Auto Alliance assembly line and the two are quite different vehicles. However, during my recent Cars & Coffee conversation with a Lotus Elise owner it was interesting to hear him talk about the interchangeable parts between his car and the Tesla Roadster (the center console in particular… a much desired part by Lotus owners).
For one the Abarth version of the Fiata will be significantly more powerful than the 155hp Miata, so that’s something to look forward to. Although I’m pretty content with the amount of power my current NC Miata has.
So much like the Toyobaru union for the Toyota 86 GT / Scion FR-S / Subaru BRZ I think this will be a huge hit with the two door roadster owner community in the US but more importantly around the world. One of my favorite things is to see the same exact Miata in pictures posted by their owners from North America, Europe, Asia, the Pacific, etc. It’s truly amazing!
Let’s wait and see how this develops.
Check out this post from Lime Rock Park where I got to marshal a historics event with a number of classic Abarth race cars well represented: Abarth Fiats at Lime Rock
UPDATE: So as per the September 28th Jalopnik article, this is what it’ll actually look like… (very similar to the MX-5 especially the interior except the exterior a bit less rounded and larger proportion)