Fifty years have gone by. It was 1966 when Fiat presented the 124 Spider, a car that aroused strong emotions and that remained on the market until 1985. Now history is repeating itself with the new 124 Spider which offers some of its ancestor’s typical features while at the same time being very much a car of today. The MX-5 platform has come from Mazda within the context of its partnership agreement with FCA.

The FCA Style Centre worked meticulously to give the car (4054 mm long) an unequivocal image that starts at the front in the hexagonal grille, continues over the long bonnet with powerdome and the side panel before finishing up in the rear “V” shape. The two-seater cabin is typical of the spider: snug, low, essential; the hood can be operated with one hand. It is entertaining to drive with the rumble of the Multiair 1.4 turbo engine delivering 140 bhp with 6-speed gearbox, vertical steering with electric servo, sporty but comfortable suspension (double wishbones at the front and Multilink at the rear).

For those looking for more here’s the Abarth 124 Spider, developed in parallel (in this case the brand is the Scorpion) with the engine boosted to 170 bhp and mechanicals to match. These include a limited-slip differential, sports suspension, special brakes, automatic Esseesse sports sequential gearbox (as an alternative to the 6-speed manual) and Normal and Sport driving modes. As Abarth Chief Designer Ruben Wainberg insists, the line has been redefined to suit performance and aerodynamics, everything being underlined by the matte black paintwork on the bonnet and rear lid. The cabin too has been brought into line with wrap-round seats (heated), rev counter with a red background, aluminium pedal board. The engine sound is addictive, as is driving the car which offers both thrills and safety.

To close, emotions can also be had with the 500 with the Fiat 500S saloon and convertible and the Abarth range – with tweaked aesthetics and interiors – now offered in 595, 595 Turismo and 595 Competizione versions with 145, 165 and 180 bhp 1.4 T-jet engines.