And we have the Mazda MX-5 RF to thank for it.
We have a lot to thank Mazda for with its latest MX-5 Miata. On top of being a showcase of Mazda's Sky-Activ tech that flies in the face of contemporary downsizing and turbocharging trends, the MX-5 also gets top marks from us for being a truly cracking little roadster. Above all, though, the MX-5 also paved the way for the equally enjoyable Fiat 124 Spider. And now Autocar is saying that we need to be grateful to the MX-5 once again, as another 124 model using existing Mazda architecture is apparently in the works.
As the only noteworthy new MX-5 model to be released since the fourth-generation version was introduced is the folding hard-top 'RF', it's perhaps no real shock to know this upcoming Fiat 124 model is expected to ditch the standard car's fabric roof. However, this new 'Fiata' model won't have a removable top: instead, it will use the MX-5 RF's template to turn into a proper fixed-head coupe. Of course, those of you who remember the Abarth 124's unveiling at the Geneva Motor Show earlier this year will also remember that Fiat showed off a solid-roofed 124 in rally car form, but this is the first we've heard of the Spider being earmarked for conversion into a fixed-roof.
As Fiat has yet to officially confirm such a model is in development, it's impossible to cite definitive specs and figures. That being said, it's incredibly likely that the fixed-roof Fiat 124 will retain the 160-hp turbo-four engine from the Spider we already have, and the lack of any folding roof mechanisms should also mean the 124 Coupe shouldn't be porkier than 2,400 lbs. Prices also shouldn't be drastically higher over the Spider either, with our guess being somewhere in the $27,000 ballpark. We even may see the Fiat 124 Coupe before 2017 draws to a close, but hopefully won't have to wait too long before finding out more on the hard top Fiat 124.