Fiat Trademarks the 124 and 124 Spider Names
It’s been a couple of years since initial rumors about a brand-new Alfa Romeo Spider based on the 2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata surfaced the Interwebz. But what seemed like an interesting idea has been dismissed by Alfa Romeo chief Harald Wester, who told Car that the upcoming Spider is an in-house project that includes a new rear-wheel-drive architecture and not the Miata’s platform. No need to be too disappointed though, as it appears the brand-new MX-5 will still share its underpinnings with an Italian car, albeit with a Fiat badge.
The good news is Fiat is looking to revive one of its most iconic monikers for the Japanese platform, as the automaker submitted two trademark applications to the U.S. Patent Trade Office for the "124" and the "124 Spider" names.
The 124 Spider is particularly important, as it will be the closest related to the 2016 MX-5 Miata roadster. There’s no word as to what design language Fiat will use for it, but if the original 124 Sport Spider is any indication, the result should be a stylish roadster with lots of Italian flair. A more powerful, Abarth-badged version is also likely.
The 124, on the other hand, is somewhat of a mystery. The most likely scenario is that the 124 will become a coupe version of the 124 Spider and the Mazda MX-5. Essentially a spiritual successor of the Fiat 124 Coupe produced between 1967 and 1975. However, with the "Coupe" name missing from the trademark, we can’t be 100-percent sure the 124 badge will adorn a two-door. The said moniker was actually used for a compact sedan from 1966 to 1974, when it was replaced by the 131 model. Considering Fiat’s current lineup doesn’t include a sedan, we wouldn’t be surprised to see the 124 four-door return. On the other hand, there’s no way Fiat could use the MX-5’s platform for a sedan.
Either way, make sure you stay tuned to TopSpeed for updates on this hot topic.
Click past the jump to read more about the upcoming Fiat 124 Spider.
Why it matters
The days when Fiat used to build gorgeous automobiles penned by the likes of Pininfarina are long gone and a revival of the 124 Spider could put an end to that. That’s the most important thing here, as the 124 moniker has the potential to resurrect Fiat’s stylish roadster of the 1960s. The 124 Spider would also mark the return of the Fiat sport compact after more than 10 years. Production of the last Fiat roadster ended in 2005 when the Punto-based Barchetta was discontinued.
The best-selling, two-seat sports car in history received a major makeover for the 2016 model year, gaining a brand-new exterior design and a reworked interior. More importantly, Mazda managed to push the MX-5’s weight down by about 220 pounds, moving the roadster closer to its roots. The lightweight, SkyActiv chassis is joined by a 2.0-liter SkyActiv gasoline engine in the United States. The four-banger, which has been tuned exclusively for the MX-5, is expected to crank out more than 150 horsepower.
Source: U.S. Patent and Trademark Ofice