Advertisement
Opinion

'The 124 Spider could be the car to reignite Fiat's fortunes'

It's a smart move to look at yesteryear for inspiration, says Steve Fowler

Fiat knows all too well how to play the retro card – without the 500, it’s possible the company might not be here today. So it’s a smart move to look to yesteryear for inspiration when it comes to the launch of a new roadster.

The original Fiat 124 Spider was a massive hit in the sixties, especially in the US, which accounted for around 75 per cent of sales. The new model certainly got plenty of attention at the LA Motor Show, drawing one of the biggest crowds of press day (only beaten by the gathered throng jostling to hear VW’s US boss apologise yet again).

Fiat’s senior product manager, Piergiorgio Di Miscio, told me: “The new car is inspired by the original, but it perfectly embodies our brand DNA today. It gives us a different brand image and will get people visiting dealerships to buy our cars.”

He’s hoping the Spider’s ‘halo’ properties will help Fiat shift cars like the 500X, which by all accounts isn’t selling as well as it was hoped. I’m surprised by that – I reckon it’s the best of Fiat’s 500 family by some margin.

Advertisement - Article continues below

I’ve also heard rumours from within Fiat that projects like the Panda Qashqai rival, revealed by Auto Express, haven’t been killed and could soon be revived. That’d be great news.

The only problem is Fiat is pinning plenty of hopes on the 124 Spider, a car that – how can I put it – just doesn’t look sexy enough in the flesh.

Fiat people in LA had clearly been told not to mention the Mazda MX-5, the car the Spider is based upon. But reading between the lines, the Fiat may well be better to drive, even if it doesn’t look better than the Mazda. Either way, the 124 Spider is a step in the right direction that will hopefully soon see Fiat back to its brilliant best.

What do you think of the Fiat 124 Spider? Leave us a comment below!

Advertisement
Advertisement

Recommended

Visit/fiat/106207/fiat-centoventi-concept
Fiat Centoventi Concept front quarter
Fiat

Fiat Centoventi on the way to showrooms

The electric Fiat Centoventi urban city car is under development and will sit alongside the Fiat 500e in the brand's new-look range
5 Mar 2020
Visit/fiat/108280/fiat-chrysler-and-peugeot-citroen-merger-agreed
PSA and FCA merger
Fiat

Fiat Chrysler and Peugeot Citroen merger agreed

FCA and Groupe PSA come to an agreement for merger; union creates the world's fourth largest car company
18 Dec 2019
Visit/fiat/107085/its-good-news-the-fcarenault-merger-has-fallen-through
OPINION FCA & Renault
Fiat

FCA / Renault merger deal has fallen through

The idea of a potential merger between FCA and Renault sounded like a bad idea, so Mike Rutherford is glad the deal has fallen through
9 Jun 2019
Visit/fiat/106925/classic-fiats-taking-a-look-through-the-history-books-at-fcas-heritage-hub
FCA Heritage - epic journeys
Fiat

FCA Heritage Hub - the home of classic Fiats

We take a look at some stunning classic Fiats and other Italian treasures as we delve deep inside FCA's new Heritage Hub
25 May 2019

Most Popular

Visit/modern-classics/351953/most-wanted-cars-2020-poll
News

Most Wanted Cars 2020: poll

Decide which classic car you would most want to see brought back from the dead by an all new model
27 Mar 2020
Visit/features/351947/30-brilliant-boredom-beaters-car-fans
Features

30 brilliant boredom beaters for car fans

Stay at home, stay safe and enjoy some pure automotive escapism in the form of the very best content from Dennis Publishing’s leading car brands.
27 Mar 2020
Visit/news/351950/global-temporary-shutdown-car-factories-could-actually-benefit-manufacturers-and
News

'The temporary shutdown of car factories could benefit manufacturers and customers'

With car factories around the world closing temporarily, it may give manufacturers the chance to clear out the current backlog of unsold new cars, say…
28 Mar 2020