A second-generation Japanese-Italian roadster? Here's what's happening.
There's a lot to like about the Fiat 124 Spider. Based on the same platform as the venerable Mazda MX-5 Miata, it's a cheap and cheerful little sports car with retro-inspired styling and fun handling, even if the performance is underwhelming compared to its competitors.
Starting at $25,440, it's also slightly cheaper than its rivals – including the MX-5 Miata that it's based on. It's only been on sale since 2016 and received a minor update for the 2019 model year with new standard tech and personalization options. If you're a fan of the Fiat 124 Spider, however, we have some bad news for you.
During a recent interview with Autocar, Fiat CEO Olivier Francois admitted that the chances of the 124 Spider getting a successor are slim. While it's still profitable, the CEO doesn't see the 124 Spider as a vital part of the brand's lineup in the future. "The 124 market is a niche one," said Francois. "It is profitable business for us - but only because of the joint venture. It was an opportunity and we took it. It makes money and it adds a certain cool factor."
"But I accept that such a car may not be key to the future of the brand. It is not what I'd call a pure, absolute Fiat, but for now, it remains an interesting opportunity." Based on his comments, don't get your hopes up for a second-generation fiat 124 Spider.
Sadly, this probably means we'll be waving goodbye to the sporty Fiat 124 Spider Abarth when it reaches the end of its current lifecycle, too.
As part of Fiat's new strategy, Francois recently said "there will be no big cars, no premium cars, no sporty cars" in the Italian automaker's lineup because "they have no legitimacy." Instead, Fiat is planning to launch an electric version of the 500 hatchback in 2020 and a new version of the Panda in Europe. In addition, Fiat is also expected to reveal a new 500 Giardiniera wagon and successors to the current 500X and Tipo. The latter is expected to be replaced with an SUV to keep US buyers happy.