2016 Fiat 124 Spider Euro-spec is less powerful than its North American version

Article by Andrew Christian, on November 25, 2015

Nearly 50 years have passed since the introduction of the original; now the FIAT 124 Spider is back! Loyal to its name, the brand new FIAT 124 Spider brings up the classic Italian style and the driving pleasure to this generation with its potent turbo-charged petrol engine, refined suspension and a conventional rear-wheel drive layout.

Having been designed at Centro Stile in Turn, Italy, the new FIAT 124 Spider was inspired by its 1966 original predecessor in terms of proportions, stance and details. This new creation has a horizontal line emerging from the front wing, passing up above the rear haunch and coming in towards the tail lamp as it pays homage to the original’s concept design.

The distinctive style and position of the LED headlamps and the hexagonal form of the upper grille resemble the classic roadster and has many of its signature details as well. The bonnet of the latest FIAT 124 Spider resembles the twin power domes of this car’s second generation (a functional design inspired by the need of fitting its bigger engines).

Meanwhile, its rear view has two primary features: the ‘”seagull” wings whose upper surface is falling towards the decklid, and its sharp horizontal tail lamps. These lamps utilize a new FIAT style of inserts in the same color as the body similar to those offered with the new Fiat 500.

The rear spoiler of the FIAT 124 Spider improves its aerodynamic design while its twin exhaust outlets allow this car’s engine to perform better. The FIAT 124 Spider’s interior (matching its external design) merges Italian style with that of a classic driver-focused roadster.

Its low-slung seats are made out of a lightweight structure composed of a unique foam shape covered in high quality upholstery, allowing the driver to sit in such a way that he or she is aligned and can steer the wheel properly as well as handle the pedals and the gear-shifter comfortably.

Meanwhile, the three-gauge instrument cluster is made of soft-touch materials and is designed with artistic and unique details to delight the senses of any driver, setting the FIAT 124 Spider apart for its quality and elegance, honoring the best Italian traditions.

The attention-oriented philosophy of the automaker in designing this car is evident in the soft top opening mechanics, which uses springs to open and close rather than counting on a power assisted system. Its automatic windows open and close when the header-real lock levers are operating.

Seats are designed with the roof operation system in mind as well since its narrow shoulder bolster will let the upper body move freely, allowing complete roof operation from the driver’s seat. The aerodynamics of the rearward-mounted windscreen frame is designed to optimize the flow of air above the heads of the occupants and towards the rear of the car while the roof is retracted and the windows are down, aiming to reduce the air striking the passengers and minimizing the drafts buffering from behind.

Reduction of noise, vibration and harshness are important parts that the automaker took into consideration when designing this piece as well. The specially-tune engine mounts, carefully engineered isolation of the transmission and differential, the suspension components of differing resonances, the aerodynamic and efficient design of the rear edge of the hood and even the little details such as the positioning of the mounting seatbelt have been developed and built to answer the design considerations mentioned previously.

The soft top of the 124 Spider also answers its noise reduction needs. It is fitted with a headliner inside the vehicle to enhance the noise absorption and there is also a rear package mat to provide insulation and absorb even more sound.

FIAT 124 Spider is not only a model that brings back the old memories of the roof-down-style. The vehicle is powered by the 1.4 liter MultiAir Turbo engine which is able to reach up to 140hp of power at 240Nm of torque. See how powerful the North American version: 2017 Fiat 124 Spider.

For the first time on the Spider, it is available with a lightweight, quick-shifting six-speed manual transmission, designed to meet the needs of its high torque engine. The MultiAir induction system ensures excellent response across the rev range while lowering the consumption of fuel under medium to low load. The engine’s positioning near the center of the car reduces the yaw inertia of the car, improving its maneuverability.

This car’s suspension is comprised of a double-wishbone front and multilink rear arrangement, with a rear set-up engineered specially to increase toe-in under cornering forces in order to improve the stability of the car. The straight steering shaft is positioned in order to gain more linear and positive steering responsiveness. It relies on an electric power-assist (dual-pinion) system that provides light, consistent and responsive steering characteristics.

New FIAT 124 Spider offers to the customers a wide range of technological advances to improve the driving experience while keeping the passengers safe. The most important information is displayed to the drivers through its beautifully designed three-gauge cluster composed by an analogue tachometer in the center, a speedometer and an information displayer.

The standard infotainment unit offers an USB/auxiliary input, six speaker and Bluetooth compatibility while the enhanced version comes with a seven-inch touchscreen display, DAB digital radio, two USB ports, multimedia control, a reversing camera and a 3D navigation system, with phone calls, music and navigation all voice-controlled. A Bose premium sound system with nine speakers, including twin headrest speakers per seat and a subwoofer, is also available as an option.

The system also provides drivers with access to Aha and Stitcher Internet radio apps via Bluetooth connectivity. The pleasurable driving experience that the FIAT 124 Spider offers doesn’t come at the cost of the passenger’s safety.

Quite the contrary, this concept is built to meet the highest safety standards. Its high strength body is specially engineered to ensure impact absorption. In the event of a frontal impact, the multi-load path structures within the car’s body will distribute the impact’s energy through two main channels, dispersing and absorbing it within special crash structures and across the side sills, B-pillars and central tunnel.

On the other hand, the energy from any possible impact on the sides is handled by a ring like structure that incorporates the rear portion of the sills, rear cross member and setback bars, making the entire body to absorb the collision. Passenger’s safety is ensured by combining the use of high-tensile steel robust structures with strategic deformation control and load distribution channels within the body.

Press Release

NEW FIAT 124 SPIDER UNVEILED AT THE 2015 LOS ANGELES AUTO SHOW

  • All-new roadster unveiled almost 50 years since its famous predecessor was launched
  • New FIAT 124 Spider pays homage to the style and attitude of the original car in an advanced styling package
  • Compact, lightweight and rear-wheel drive, the new FIAT 124 Spider is powered by a MultiAir Turbo engine
  • Sophisticated suspension and steering tuned for driving pleasure, roof up or down

Almost 50 years since the original was introduced, the FIAT 124 Spider is back! True to its celebrated nameplate, the all-new FIAT 124 Spider brings classic Italian styling and pure driving pleasure to a new generation, with its powerful turbo-charged petrol engine, sophisticated suspension and traditional rear-wheel drive layout.

Designed at Centro Stile in Turin, Italy, the new FIAT 124 Spider takes its inspiration from the 1966 original, not only in terms of its proportions and stance but also in terms of its detailing. A horizontal line emerges from the front wing, kicking up over the rear haunch and flowing toward the tail lamp, aping the distinctive bodywork of the original car, while the style and position of the LED headlamps, and the hexagonal upper grille, both draw heavily from the details of the classic roadster.

The bonnet of the new sports car also emulates the twin power domes of the second- generation FIAT 124 Spider (a functional design feature necessitated by the fitment of larger engines) while the rear view is defined by two main features: the “seagull” wings, the upper surface of which fall inward toward the decklid, and the sharp horizontal tail lamps, which incorporate a new FIAT stylistic sign of body-coloured inserts launched with the new FIAT 500. An integrated rear spoiler enhances the aerodynamic performance of the new FIAT 124 Spider, while twin exhaust outlets underline the performance capability of the engine.

The interior of the new FIAT 124 Spider, in keeping with the exterior, mixes Italian style with the classic ingredients of a driver-focussed roadster. The low-slung seats are comprised of a lightweight net structure with a unique foam shape and are trimmed in premium upholstery, aligning the driver perfectly with the sporty steering wheel and ideally-located pedals and gear-shifter. The three-gauge instrument cluster with its central rev-counter hints at the excitement awaiting the driver, while soft-touch materials and unique detailing set it apart as a high-quality and elegant roadster in the tradition of its best Italian predecessors.

This attention to detail extends even as far as the operation of the soft top, with spring-assisted opening and closing – eliminating the need for a power assist system – and automatic window lowering and raising when the header-rail lock levers are operated. Even the seat structure is designed with the roof operation in mind – the narrow shoulder bolster allows the upper body to move freely, facilitating rapid and unrestricted roof operation from the driver’s seat.

With the roof retracted and the side windows rolled down, the aerodynamics around the rearward-mounted windscreen frame of the FIAT 124 Spider have been optimised to guide the wind above the heads of occupants and towards the rear of the car, minimising both the amount of wind striking occupants directly and drafts buffeting from behind.

Particular care has also been given to the reduction of noise, vibration and harshness, with specially-tuned engine mounts, carefully-engineered isolation of the transmission and differential as well as suspension components of differing resonances. Wind noise is combated with the adoption of an aerodynamically-efficient design for the rear edge of the hood, A-pillars and header – even the seatbelt mounting position is located to minimise wind noise while driving with the top down.

The 124 Spider also uses sound insulation to reduce noise while driving with the top up. The soft top is fitted with a headliner inside the vehicle for improved sound absorption and there’s a rear package mat to provide further sound absorption and insulation.

Of course, the FIAT 124 Spider is more than an exercise in nostalgic roof-down style – under the bonnet lies FIAT’s venerable 1.4-litre MultiAir Turbo engine producing 140hp and 240Nm of torque, driving the rear wheels for the first time via a lightweight, quick-shifting six-speed manual transmission, specially optimised for this high torque output. The MultiAir induction system ensures responsive characteristics across the rev range while lowering fuel consumption under low or medium load, while the position of the engine nearer the centre of the car reduces yaw inertia and improves handling agility.

Key to the dynamic abilities of the FIAT 124 Spider is its lightweight body structure, achieved using aluminium, high-tensile steel and precision engineering. A strong backbone frame, comprised of robust, straight beams, underpins the overall structure, while a front sub-frame and rear cross members connect the backbone to the front and rear sections to provide a structure that is light, safe and extremely rigid. Aluminium components include the bonnet and boot lid, front and rear bumper reinforcements, seatback bars, underbody cross-member and bulkhead panel.

The suspension of the FIAT 124 Spider is comprised of a double-wishbone front and multilink rear arrangement, with a rear set-up engineered to increase toe-in under high cornering forces for improved stability. The straight steering shaft position ensures linear and positive steering responsiveness, with the electric power-assist (dual-pinion) system providing light, consistent and responsive steering characteristics.

The new FIAT 124 Spider offers a range of technologies to enhance the driving experience while also keeping occupants safe and connected. The most important information is fed to the driver in the traditional way, via a three-gauge cluster with a large analogue tachometer in the centre, flanked by a speedometer and an information display. The standard infotainment unit offers a high level of equipment including a USB/auxiliary input, six speakers and Bluetooth connectivity, while the enhanced version features a seven-inch touchscreen display, DAB digital radio, two USB ports, multimedia control, a reversing camera and a 3D navigation system, with phone calls, music and navigation all voice-controlled. A Bose® premium sound system with nine speakers, including twin headrest speakers per seat and a subwoofer, is also available as an option. The system also provides drivers with access to Aha* and Stitcher* Internet radio apps via Bluetooth connectivity.

The pursuit of driving pleasure hasn’t been at the expense of occupant wellbeing and the new FIAT 124 Spider has been engineered to meet the highest safety standards, with a high strength body engineered to provide excellent impact-absorption characteristics. In the event of a frontal impact, for example, multi-load path structures within the body distribute impact energy along two main channels, dispersing and absorbing energy within special crash structures and across the side sills, B-pillars and central tunnel. Side impact energy is managed by a ring-like structure incorporating the rear portion of the sills, rear cross member and seatback bars, allowing the entire body to absorb the energy, while rear collision protection is provided by combining high-tensile steel and robust structures with strategic deformation control and load distribution channels.

Pedestrian-friendly “active” bonnet, stability control, traction control and rollover mitigation are all offered as standard. Features such as adaptive headlamps, reversing camera, rain-sensitive wipers, keyless entry ‘n’ go and voice-operated infotainment and navigations systems will be standard or optional dependant on grade.

The FIAT 124 Spider will go on sale in the UK during the second half of 2016 with pricing and final specifications announced at a later date.

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