Is This the End of the Road For the Fiat 124 Spider?

An unclear future awaits this high-quality yet inexpensive sports car

Fiat 124 Spider
A 2019 Fiat 124 Spider Classica in motion.
Fiat Chrysler Automobiles
By Tobias Carroll / August 25, 2019 9:15 am

The Fiat 124 Spider has earned rave reviews in recent years for its performance and its value. Jalopnik’s review of the 2018 edition, while not an out-and-out rave, noted that “It’s sporty, fun and it zips around town like every day is a warm summer day.” It’s a beautifully designed vehicle: compact and sporty, and the kind of car that hearkened back to its classic predecessor while still looking decidedly modern.

Unfortunately, the 124 Spider may have reached the end of the line. Fiat’s CEO has expressed doubt about a successor to this model

Gear Patrol explored why a car like this—well-made, well-designed and affordably-priced—hasn’t caught on with American drivers.

Why has the 124 Spider not done well? A couple of factors. Fiat’s bold re-entry into the American market has fallen flat. Americans don’t trust the brand. Cars like the 500 and the 124 Spider, while stylish, are not the sorts of large, practical vehicles Americans traditionally buy in large numbers.

Their report adds a stark statement of automotive reality. “The two-seater convertible market is a small niche,” they write. “Far fewer young adults are celebrating their carefree stable employment by buying impractical cars.”

If this is the last hurrah for this iteration of the Fiat 124 Spider, perhaps this new edition will capture the hearts and minds of a future generation, just as the previous version of this car—made from 1966 to 1985—attained classic status in the eyes of many.

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