Italian automaker celebrates iconic nameplate in style

The Fiat 124 Spider may be a new car on the surface, having first been introduced at the 2015 Los Angeles Auto Show. But there’s more to the lightweight two-door roadster than what meets the eye. For instance, the 124 Spider may consider the Mazda MX-5 Miata as a direct rival, but the two so-called competitors have more in common than people think, including the fact that they share the same underpinnings. Here’s another surprising fact about the 124 Spider: it wasn’t supposed to exist. Yep, the framework that led to the development of the 124 Spider was supposed to be for an Alfa Romeo roadster. But FCA, owners of both Fiat and Alfa Romeo, ultimately decided to give it to the Fiat. And so, the Fiat 124 Spider was born.

Today, the 124 Spider has been a busy sports car for Fiat. It’s been featured numerous times in various special edition variants. That now includes two versions of the car that will be on hand at the 2017 Geneva Motor Show. One of those models is the Abarth 124 Spider Scorpione, which our colleague Jonathan Lopez featured a few days ago. The other is this one: the Fiat 124 Spider Europa.

Developed to celebrate the launch of the original, Pininfarina-designed 124 Spider that swept many enthusiasts off their feet back in 1981, the 124 Spider Europa gets its fair share of unique features, not the least of which is a body finish that Fiat describes as the “ultimate color that identifies Italian sporty two-seaters.” The special edition roadster also gets components from Mopar and a slew of exclusive touches that have been thrown in to highlight the car’s celebratory special edition status.

All these items add up to create an impressive two-door roadster that does its predecessor and its legacy proud.

Continue after the jump to read more about the Fiat 124 Spider Europa

What makes the Fiat 124 Spider Europa so special?

2017 Fiat 124 Spider Europa High Resolution Exterior
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The ties to exclusivity aren’t readily apparent when you look at the Fiat 124 Spider Europa. But the devil is in the details, and you have to look closely to notice what these features are. Ironically, though, one of the roadster’s more prominent styling characteristics is right in front of our eyes. I did say earlier that the car comes with a striking body finish, right? Well, Fiat calls it Passione Red, which is just a fancy name for a red hue injected with a little Italian flavor. The other exterior features included in the 124 Spider Europa include silver rear view mirror caps and a new set of 17-inch, four-spoke alloy wheels that were developed by Dodge’s in-house performance division Mopar.

I did say earlier that the car comes with a striking body finish, right? Well, Fiat calls it Passione Red, which is just a fancy name for a red hue injected with a little Italian flavor.

Move to the interior, and once again, you’re going to have to pay close attention to the makeup of the cabin to notice what the special edition roadster received. The black leather seats are the obvious additions, and they’re good ones considering how well they complement the striking red color of the body. Remember, red and black are the quintessential colors of passion among Italian automakers. It’s not a shock that we see both colors used so prevalently on a special edition roadster that has a legacy of passionate fans. The final two pieces of the 124 Spider Europa’s special edition puzzle include the 124 logo on the front grille and a celebratory, numbered plaque in the interior of the car.

The car’s supposed special edition features aren’t going to blow anybody out of the water. In fact, they really don’t amount to much apart from the numbered plaque. The good news here is that Fiat spared no expense in bombarding the 124 Spider Europa with a ton of equipment. On the outside, it has full-LED front headlights with the company’s Adaptive Front Light System, which functions by manipulating the lights depending on the speed and direction of the curve.

Inside, the 124 Spider Europa gets a leather steering wheel, a seven-inch radio, mp3 with a USB port, and a premium Bose Hi-Fi system with nine speakers, including a dual speaker set that owners would be surprised to know can be found in the headrest of both seats.
2017 Fiat 124 Spider Europa
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2017 Fiat 124 Spider Europa
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Inside, the 124 Spider Europa gets a leather steering wheel, a seven-inch radio, MP3 with a USB port, and a premium Bose Hi-Fi system with nine speakers, including a dual speaker set that owners would be surprised to know can be found in the headrest of both seats. Other system goodies like cruise control, keyless entry, rear camera, and a navigation system with 3D maps are also all part of the full 124 Spider Europa experience.

Under its hood, the special edition two-seater roadster is still powered by a 1.4-liter four-cylinder turbocharged MultiAir technology that produces 140 horsepower and 177 pound-feet of torque and mated to a manual six-speed transmission. Those are solid numbers but you kind of wish that Fiat, or somebody else under that FCA umbrella, would have made some tweaks to squeeze more power out of that engine to fit its special edition status. In any case, the roadster is still good enough to sprint to 62 mph in 7.5 seconds before hitting a top speed of 134 mph.

2017 Fiat 124 Spider Elaborazione Abarth High Resolution Exterior AutoShow
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2017 Fiat 124 Spider Elaborazione Abarth High Resolution Exterior AutoShow
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Note: photo of the Fiat 124 Spider Elaborazione Abarth

By sheer quantity of special edition details, the 124 Spider Europa is a lot more subdued compared to some past special edition works created by Fiat for its new two-door roadster. The Abarth-branded version of the 124 Spider, for example, received the Elaborazione back in March 2016. That one was loaded with mechanical add-ons that were not available with the standard model. For one, the suspension of the car was the beneficiary of a uniquely tuned sport suspension with Bilstein front and rear shock absorbers that not only help improve the car’s traction, but also aids in improving its handling capabilities.

Under its hood, the special edition two-seater roadster is still powered by a 1.4-liter four-cylinder turbocharged MultiAir technology that produces 140 horsepower and 177 pound-feet of torque and mated to a manual six-speed transmission.

On the aesthetic front, the 124 Spider Elaborazione Abarth came in five different exterior colors, namely Bianco Gelato (White Clear Coat), Rosso Passione (Red Clear Coat), Nero Cinema (Jet Black Metallic), Grigio Argento (Gray Metallic), and tri-coat Bianco Perla (Crystal White Pearl).

Power numbers for the 124 Spider Elaborazione Abarth add up to 160 horsepower and 184 pound-feet of torque, 20 more ponies than the 124 Spider Europa on account of the car being packaged as an Abarth model wrapped in Fiat clothing.

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