TWPC: 2017 Fiat 124 Spider

Written by Lee Bailie on .

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And we're back!

After a week off due to Thanksgiving and a quick two-day jaunt to Spain to drive the forthcoming 2017 Audi R8 Spyder (preview coming soon to!), TWPC is back in action with the 2017 Fiat 124 Spider.

We've also got a verdict in the works for the 2016 Mercedes-Benz GLE 450 AMG - we haven't forgotten! - which will be posted later this week.

But first, we should talk a little about this little Fiat roadster.

As you may have heard by now, the 124 Spider is based on the Mazda MX-5 and is built in the same plant in Hiroshima, Japan.

Now, before you go thinking it's a clone of the MX-5, Fiat has gone to some lengths to set the 124 Spider apart from its Mazda relative.

On that score, it's powered by the same engine found in the Fiat 500 Abarth, a 1.4-litre MultiAir turbocharged 4-cylinder that produces 160 horsepower and 184 lb-ft. of torque. Two transmissions are available, a 6-speed manual (like the one in our tester) and a 6-speed automatic. The former is Mazda-sourced- it came from the previous gen MX-5.

In terms of styling, the 124 Spider has unique body panels and interior styling touches, although to be honest it does remind this writer a lot of the MX-5. The steering wheel, infotainment user interface and other touch points are Mazda-sourced, although it appears Fiat has done a reasonable job of building a separate identity. At least, as much as can be expected for a model that shares a chassis and a lot of packaging details with another car.

At any rate, we're hoping for a bit of warm mid-October sun this week so we can drop the top and experience some fine Italian roadster motoring.

See you back here on Friday for our verdict!

Basic specs:

- 1.4L MultiAir turbocharged 4-cylinder engine
- 6-speed manual transmission
- front engine / rear-wheel drive
- 160 horsepower / 184 lb-ft. of torque
- 0-100 km/h in 7.5 seconds (est.)

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Photography by Lee Bailie

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