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Spyder Baby Wooooo

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Fiat is a strange automaker, to be sure. I have only just discovered the 124 Spyder after having been such a fan of the Fiat/Lancia/Alfa Romeo platform in my youth. My friends even had a nickname for the Euro speedsters, the - Fi-Lanc-Eo. The Fiat Coupé was an absolute blast and rivaled the Miata for best all-around entry-level sports, and its Lancia and Alfa Romeo brethren were among the hottest European tuners during the 1990s. There were even a number of 4WD conversions and easy engine and chassis swaps between the Lancia Delta and the Fiat Coupé that were quite popular at the time. Fiat even offered a beefy 2.0L turbo I5 that put out over 220 hp and smoked its American and Japanese counterparts. And that competition, particularly with the Mazda Miata, is where Fiat’s strange and interesting history takes another detour in our modern age.

It’s a shame that I only just now got into Fiats because they are headed out of the American market. The 124 Spyder, the Italian badge-engineered Miata, is such a beauty. There have definitely been some aesthetic misses in the Fiat lineup, but the 124 Spyder is most certainly not one of them. It offers a more aggressive front cowl than the Miata, and the interior luxuries, from the premium leather to the bespoke touchscreen, are absolutely worth the price of admission. The 1.4L turbo feels small at first, but it’s a bullet, hitting 60 mph in under five seconds. It’s the perfect car to get you where you want to go quickly, and with oodles of flair.

The 124 Spyder is set to go the way of the Fiat Coupé and become a rarity. It’s definitely a niche vehicle in a world of crossovers and SUVs, but if you’re looking to ride with style and profile, the Fiat 124 Spyder is a blink-and-you-missed-it gem.

-Trey Fennell



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