We finally have a clear—if a little bit grainy—view of Fiat’s long-awaited 124 Spider. And although we have long known it would be based the Mazda Miata, we now see just how close the two are.
Our first reaction upon seeing these spy photos is, “Wow, that looks just like a Miata.” Fiat appears to have done a bare minimum of restyling. The profile shot shows a heavier-looking nose that contains a much taller, hexagonal grille bisected by a bumper bar. The headlight units also appear larger, and there are prominent, rounded lower air intakes at the edges of the front fascia.
The rear shot shows a tail that is somewhat flatter and broader-looking, although the trunklid appears to have the same contour. The more rectangular taillamps in place of the modified-round units in the Miata give the 124 Spider a bit of a Maserati-ish appearance.
Peeking inside, the view is pure Miata, with the Fiat badge at the center of Mazda’s three-spoke steering wheel seemingly the only change. The dash design, console, and switchgear appear unaltered.
We’re still excited at the prospect of a new Fiat Spider—and we’re tantalized at the notion that there will be a more potent, Abarth version—but we might have expected a bit more Fiat-specific style. Whatever one thinks of the current Fiat lineup, the cars do boast unique styling. We won’t have to wait much longer to get an even better look at the new Spider, however; it’s expected to make its public debut before the end of the year.