"The Turin Motor Show under the sign of optimism" was the positive-sounding title of the 48th edition of the event held in halls of Torino Esposizioni in 1966. The Fiat stand stood out for its sheer size in the exhibition hall, among those of 515 exhibitors from 13 different countries: the very comprehensive line-up displayed at the Turin Motor Show in 1966 was capable of satisfying the most diverse tastes and needs and was complemented by three brand-new models. Visitors could admire the Fiat Dino, the production of which was being kicked off at the time, and the models which completed the 124 range. The 124 was an innovative car with an original style, a new concept of space, sophisticated engineering and state-of-the-art safety. The Fiat 124 was the result of Fiat's commitment to make an affordable, fast car, capable of carrying five people and their luggage in comfortable style.
An estate version, the Fiat 124 Familiare, was introduced at the Motor Show, but that 3rd of November would be remembered above all for the Fiat 124 Sport Spider. This model was the pinnacle of the evolution in the thrilling yet accessible convertible car segment that Fiat had led since the end of World War II with models such as the 1100 Spider in 1954, the 1200 and the twin-shaft 1500 Bialbero in 1958, the 1500 S and the 1600 S in 1961. The 124 Sport Spider was designed for motorists seeking brilliant performance at an affordable price: it was a sporty car with a wide circulation. The press dubbed it a "modern event" not just a simple car. It was modern because the quest for mobility was satisfied by a product that could excite and was reasonably priced, with a convincing and personal style, thrilling performance and innovative technical solutions, particularly mechanical. The 124 Sport Spider was the evolution of the 124 saloon but was also a genuine sports car with which everyone soon fell in love. To design the car Fiat called Pininfarina, long-time partner of the auto maker and a respected name in automotive car design worldwide.
The Fiat Style Centre designers created a car that encompasses the classic beauty of its predecessor without betraying its very essence in a new perspective. The front-end is bold without being aggressive and the two small humps on the bonnet suggest the engine power. The side proportions are those of a true sports car with longitudinal engine, rear-wheel drive mechanical architecture and retracted cockpit: design pays homage to the past projecting it into the future.
The new Fiat 124 Spider is inspired by some details of its 1966 predecessor and reinterprets them in a modern key. It has a streamline, timeless silhouette as well as the classic, perfectly proportioned side, the low centre of gravity, the retracted cockpit and the stretched bonnet of a real sports car. References to the vintage model are also found in the upper grille, in the hexagonal front grille pattern, in the classic "humps" along the front bonnet and in the bold horizontal rear lights. Similarly, the upper hexagonal grille was inspired by the exclusive form of the front air intakes on the vintage model and recalls the honeycomb structure of the sporty grille on the legendary 124 Spider.
The rear end is characterised by two elements: the swallow-tail section rear wings and the horizontally developed rear lights which wink to the features of its predecessor. The shape of the rear bumpers with the upper surface jutting into the boot lid conveys a characteristic V-shape to the rear end of the car. Interiors are designed and built to guarantee maximum occupant comfort using high-quality, soft materials. The ergonomics of the car were painstakingly designed to enhance the driving experience, also through the perfect layout of pedals, steering wheel and transmission.
Fiat 124 Spider fits a four-cylinder 1.4-litre MultiAir turbo engine that delivers 140 HP of power (103 kW) and 240 Nm of peak torque available right away at 2250 rpm. The engine has retained its distinguishing features: four cylinders in-line with an aluminium head, a 72 mm bore and an 84 mm stroke, developing a total displacement of 1368 cm3. Fiat 124 Spider clocks a top speed of 215 km/h and accelerates from 0 to 100 km/h in 7.5 seconds. The dynamism of the car is also achieved thanks to the rear-wheel drive, an extremely well-balanced weight distribution and a low centre of gravity. Fiat 124 Spider is available with six-speed manual gearboxfor smooth, direct shifting, or with automatic transmission.