The FIAT 124 Spyder recalls the sexy, fun to drive, and affordable drop tops which defined the storied Italian brand in the 1970s.
But a new report suggests it might not be long for this world. Because in a recent conversation with our friends at Autocar, CEO Olivier François didn’t mention the Spyder explicitly, but stressed that the future of the marque will be balanced on vehicles like the all-electric 500e, and if you read between the lines, the prognosis for the sporty little roadster sounds grim:
For our future product plan, we need the right balance between the two dimensions: the Fiat 500 family and family transportation. There will be no big cars, no premium cars, no sporty cars because they have no legitimacy. We will be present in the C-segment but not much more. All models will sit within 3.5m and 4.5m. This is where Fiat will play. We need more EVs. And we need more 500 models that look legitimate enough to take higher pricing.
The C-segment François is referring to is compact cars, which is FIAT’s bread and butter. That said, given that he thinks sporty cars have “no legitimacy,” it’s pretty difficult to see him spending a lot of time championing something like 124 Spyder. Because, you know, that’s what it is.
Since we’re enthusiasts here at AutoNation Drive, we tend to think that the more of them are available, the better. Here’s what our own John Coyle had to say about taking the hottest version — the 124 Abarth — out on the track earlier this year:
While I’m far from an expert, I’ve been told when you’re doing it properly, driving a race track is less a series of turns than one fluid, continuous motion, and that’s how it felt to me that afternoon.
There were plenty of sections where I was flirting with the edge of grip as I flew from apex to apex, and never once did I feel like the car was about to bite me. At some points, I used a little more throttle than strictly necessary, and hung the tail out a little. When you get it right, it’s a fantastic feeling, and the 124 never made me feel like I could get it wrong.
So we hope that these rumors aren’t true, and that FIAT continues to put its Italian spin on the Mazda MX-5 for the foreseeable future. But given some of the troubles the brand has been weathering in recent years, we wouldn’t be surprised it the company did pivot toward less niche vehicles, and try to recreate the hit it had with the 500 when it first arrived back on our shores.
Fortunately, if you’re looking to pick up a 124 Spyder, your local AutoNation FIAT dealer is ready to help you out. So if you’re looking for a fun convertible to help you soak up the last rays of summer sunshine, pay them a visit today!