LA Auto Show: 2017 Fiat 124 Spider is the Italian reinterpretation of the iconic Mazda MX-5 Miata image

The Californian event has received its fair share of convertible premieres – probably due to the mild climate – and FCA’s Fiat brand has decided to join the party with the official worldwide public debut of the 2017 124 Spider, based on the Japanese Mazda MX-5 Miata.

The rebadged MX-5 will try to harness the well known Japanese reliability with the renown Italian design flair and some DNA from the sporty Abarth brand. According to the FCA unit the Italian engineers reworked the entire body with new panels that were taking cues from the original 124 Spider. Also on tap can be seen the more rounded headlights with LED daylight running lights and in the rear they employed full LED taillights.

The interior has not been touched as much and keeps the simple and efficient layout that harnesses driving passion – it appears the MX-5 interior has been taken for granted – including (unfortunately) the infotainment system (now called Fiat Connect 7.0) and all the buttons. The Fiat 124 revival goes with pretty much every aspect you found welcoming in the MX-5 Miata which is not really a bad thing – including the easy to operate roof.

Under the hood the 124 Spider has an inline-four turbocharged 1.4-liter engine sourced from back at home in Italy and making out 160 bhp (119 kW) and 184 lb-ft (249 Nm). Mated to a 6-speed manual or an optional 6-speed automatic gearbox the powertrain should deliver lively reactions thanks to the use of a double-wishbone front suspension and a multi-link rear setup. Fiat’s first 124 units in the US will carry the limited-edition Prima Edizione Lusso moniker and will come nicely fitted with an individually numbered commemorative badge and the exclusive Azzurro Italia (Blue) exterior hue.