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Along comes the 2017 Fiat 124 Spider

Fiat has shifted its American renaissance into high gear with the return of the 124 Spider.

The two-seat convertible was co-developed with Mazda and shares its platform with the latest MX-5 Miata.

The Fiat gets its own bodywork, with several touches that hearken back to the original 124 Spider. These include a hexagonal grille, rear fenders that sweep into the doors, rectangular taillights, a chrome windshield frame, and a twin power dome hood.

Under that hood, you’ll find the1.4-liter turbocharged four-cylinder currently used in the Fiat 500 Abarth, here delivering 160 hp and 184 lb-ft of torque, which makes it more powerful than the Miata’s engine. It is available with a six-speed manual or six-speed automatic transmission driving the rear wheels.

Inside, the Fiat and Mazda are largely identical, and the 124 Spider will offer a 7-inch touchscreen infotainment system, blind-spot monitor, back up camera and heated seats.

Pricing for the 124 Spider has not yet been announced. Mazda will build it for Fiat in Japan. The Fiat was originally planned to be the new Alfa Romeo Spider, but parent company FCA has since decided that all Alfa Romeos will be made in Italy, so that brand will get its own reborn Spider in the coming years.

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Test Drive: 2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata

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