Fiat has revealed the price of its much-awaited 124 Spider, which will be offered to UK buyers from £19,545.

The rear-wheel-drive roadster, unveiled at the Los Angeles Motor Show in November 2015, shares its chassis with the Mazda MX-5, a car which, despite Fiat’s insistence, will be seen as the Spider’s direct rival.

The two versions of the MX-5 available cost from £18,495 and £20,095 respectively, so the Fiat falls directly between them in price and also potency – it employs a 1.4-litre MultiAir turbo petrol engine of 138bhp and 177lbft of torque, which enables the Spider to hit 62mph from rest in 7.5 seconds and onto 134mph.

In contrast the Mazda offers a choice of 1.5 or 2.0 powerplants, of 129 or 157bhp, a 62mph sprint time of 8.3 or 7.3 seconds and a maximum speed of 127 or 133mph.

In terms of efficiency the Fiat records combined cycle fuel economy of 44.1mpg and CO2 emissions of 148g/km. The Mazda produces 47.1 or 40.9mpg and 139 or 161g/km.

The Spider will be offered in three trim levels, Classica, Lusso and Lusso Plus. Entry-level Classica versions include as standard four airbags, air conditioning, a leather-trimmed steering wheel with audio controls, a leather-trimmed gear knob, cruise control with speed limiter, 16-inch alloy wheels, keyless engine start and an infotainment system with USB, AUX and Bluetooth connectivity. A seven-inch touchscreen infotainment system with DAB, WiFi, two USB ports and a multimedia control knob is a £500 option.

Fiat is heavily promoting the 124's heritage provided by its 1960s predecessor.
Fiat is heavily promoting the 124’s heritage provided by its 1960s predecessor.

Mid-range Lusso models, costing from £22,295, include the seven-inch infotainment system as standard plus satellite navigation with 3D maps and a Parkview rear parking camera. The alloy wheels grow to 17 inches, while also supplied are heated leather upholstery, automatic climate control, front fog lamps, keyless entry, chrome exhaust tips and a premium silver finish on the windscreen frame and rollover bars.

Range-topping Lusso Plus versions, costing from £23,295, add adaptive LED headlamps, LED daytime running lights, automatic lights and wipers and a nine-speaker BOSE sound system with stereo headrest speakers on both seats.

In terms of performance and efficiency figures, there seems little to favour the Italian newcomer over its Japanese cousin or vice versa.

Andrew Charman
Andrew is a road test editor for The Car Expert. He is a member of the Guild of Motoring Writers, and has been testing and writing about new cars for more than 20 years. Today he is well known to senior personnel at the major car manufacturers and attends many new model launches each year.

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