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Fiat 124 Spider Moniker Officially Confirmed

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On: Mon, Mar 9, 2015 at 3:32PM | By: Carl Malek


Fiat 124 Spider Moniker Officially Confirmed

In a suprise announcement at the 2015 Geneva Motor Show, FCA (Fiat Chrysler Automobiles) CEO Sergio Marchionne revealed that Fiat will be resurrecting the 124 Spider nameplate for use on a reborn modern version of its popular 124 Spider which was a hit with buyers back in the 1960s and 70s and will be based on the recently unveiled Mazda Miata.

Keeping his reputation for surprise announcements firmly intact, Marchionne reportedly made the announcement when he was asked a direct and pointed question by a representative from AutoExpress on whether the rebranded Mazda had received an official name yet? Marchionne turned to one of his executives and asked, "Do we want to do it now?" The executive confirmed the 124 Spider name to Marchionne before he turned around and issued the subsequent announcement by saying, "There you go—a world-class premiere right here in this room!" The announcement also confirmed rumors that first gained traction when it was revealed that FCA applied for a renewed trademark on the 124 Spider name with the U.S. Patent Office in December of 2014.

As for the car itself, the upcoming 124 Spider will fill the shoes left by the old 124 Spider, which was produced from 1966 to 1982 and was built on the platform of the firm's popular 124 sedan. The 124 Spider of that era stood out from the rest, thanks to its Pininfarina-designed bodywork; it was the styling house that would soldider on with the 124 Spider (renamed the Pininfarina Spider Azzura) until calling it quits in 1985. Performance hardware for the upcoming roadster was not officially confirmed by FCA officials, but it is believed that the Spider could make use of the Alfa Romeo-sourced 1.4 liter turbocharged four cylinder with the range possibly expanding to include Abarth versions as well as a standard budget-minded trim to appeal to thrifty enthusiasts. While the convertible market has experienced a recent slump in overall demand as well as a reduction in offerings, look for the car to still resonate with buyers that want to add a dose of Italian flair to their open-seat driving experience but do not want to break the bank to do it.

It is unknown when the 124 Spider would be released; it was originally planned to appear in 2016, when it was supposed to be an Alfa Romeo product. However, Marchionne chose to move the Spider to Fiat claiming that an Alfa Romeo should never be built outside of its home turf in Italy since both the Miata and the Fiat variant would be built in Mazda's factory in Hiroshima, Japan. With the confirmation of the 124 Spider name, expect more information to be released over the next few months with the car possibly debuting either next year or in 2017.

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