“Let’s face it, transporting the entire family is a chore, and although an enjoyable one most of the time, it’s absolutely okay to be a little selfish and experience a vehicle that is all about the driver, and no one else.”
2017 Fiat 124 Spider – It’s Good to be Selfish
It’s not that the two-seater 2017 Fiat 124 Spider dislikes kids, but it really wants you to take a break from the mundane little-people carpooling and enjoy a moment of freedom, happiness and why not, excitement; whether it be by yourself or with your significant other.
I recently had the opportunity to feel the cool California breeze blow through my hair while at the wheel of a topless Italian beauty, and although I didn’t have my other-half by my side, I don’t necessarily dislike my colleague, Chad.
For starters, this Fiat is a true revival piece. The original Fiat 124 Spider sold in U.S soil back in the late sixties and early seventies, and needless to say—it was a pretty big hit. People enjoyed the simplicity of it all, the clean and elegant exterior design, the minimalist interior, but most of all—the Italian flair.
Italian flair can translate into a lot of things, like driving engagement, fun, good looks, and even a bit of sexiness, right? After all, it’s Italian, not German! Well, I’m pleased to announce that all of the great qualities from the original Fiat 124 Spider have been transplanted into the new 2017 model. But you know, in the famous words of the late Billy May’s, “Wait, there’s more!”
Modern cars often end up being bigger and heavier than their first-generation siblings due to safety and environmental government laws. That being said, the clever folks at Fiat have done a heck of a job keeping the new 124 Spider stylish, functional, and very, very fun to drive.
Behind all the fun is an Italian turbocharged engine that produces 160 horsepower, in fact, it’s the same engine from the Fiat 500 Abarth, which we recently took on an amazing Californian road trip from San Diego to San Francisco. So we already know the engine is great, but as with most roadsters like the 124 Spider, it’s not just about the engine.
The 2017 Fiat 124 Spider will be offered with two transmissions, a 6-speed manual and a 6-speed automatic with paddle shifters. Once you decide which transmission you want, it’s only a matter of picking one of the two “regular” trims—the base-model Classica which starts at $24,995, or the sophisticated Lusso at $27,495.
Fun Fact: The 124 Spider Classica is the least-expensive two-seater convertible in the country.
I spent the majority of my time driving the Classica with a 6-speed manual, and I was most definitely in driving heaven. The undulating back roads played well into the capabilities of this roadster, as it highlighted just how telepathic the steering, transmission and chassis really are. The thin-but-well-padded steering wheel required minimal effort to pitch the body into turns with utmost accuracy, while the transmission did a beautiful job at managing the power and spooling the little turbo for an extra boost out of the turns.
Speaking of power and boost, there’s actually a third and very special “trim.” It’s called the Abarth, and it takes the looks, the performance and of course, the price, to a whole new level. This feisty little scorpion starts at $28,195 and can also be configured with an automatic transmission for an extra $1,350 bucks.
The Abarth retains the interior features of the Lusso trim, but it also allows you to upgrade to sporty and bolstered Recaro seats. When it comes to performance, horsepower output is only bumped up four ponies to 164 total, but a sport-tuned exhaust, suspension and limited slip differential are added. Optional equipment includes Brembo brakes, a Mopar exhaust and other turbo goodies.
In the end, my face hurt a little bit from smiling so much over the course of six hours or so. Actually, there was a moment during my drive when I found myself listening to “California Dreaming” by Tupac, taking in the warm sun and chilly breeze of the Pacific, when I realized I didn’t want to part ways with the Spider, or the surroundings. It was a dreamy.
The 2017 Fiat 124 Spider is truly special, and while it may take a little bit of selfishness to buy a two-sweater convertible, it’s certainly well-worth it.
Until next time!