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Is The Fiat 124 Spider About To Be Killed Off?

Discontinued

It doesn't look good for the friendly roadster.

The automotive community seems to be torn on the Fiat 124. Some people believe the Fiat looks better than the Mazda MX-5 Miata on which it's based and prefer its 1.4-liter turbocharged engine. Others think its proportions look a tad awkward and favor the Mazda. In the sales race, it is clear which of the two cars people prefer - the Miata. Last year in 2018 (in the US), Mazda sold nearly 9,000 Miatas while Fiat moved just over 3,500 124s.

It seems like Fiat isn't having any more luck in the UK because Autocar says the 124 Spider has just been removed from the market after just two years on sale.

We should specify, only the base 124 Spider has been taken off the market. UK residents can still buy the Abarth and the hardtop GT model. Fiat didn't specify why the 124 was pulled from the lineup but it could have something to do with Europe's WLTP emissions regulations. The 124's 1.4-liter turbocharged Multiair engine is one of Fiat's older engines, so it may not comply with the new, stricter regulations. Upgrading the engine may not have been cost effective considering how slow 124 Spider sales have been.

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Other FCA models have already begun to use a new 1.3-liter engine found in the Alfa Romeo Giulietta and the European-spec Jeep Renegade. Meanwhile, Fiat's Abarth models still use the 1.4-liter engine, so perhaps Fiat hasn't yet developed a more potent version of the 1.3-liter engine for use in a performance car.

Even the more successful Miata saw a sales decrease in 2018 while all of Mazda's SUVs saw growth. It seems people just aren't in a hurry to buy sports cars, so models like the 124 and Miata are struggling.

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