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    LA Auto Show: 2017 Fiat 124 Spider


    • Fiat + Mazda Miata = 124 Spider


    What might have been one of the worst-kept secrets in the automotive world has finally been revealed today at the LA Auto Show.

     

    This is the 2017 Fiat 124 Spider which is the result of the partnership between Fiat and Mazda. You might remember this vehicle was originally destined for Alfa Romeo a few years back, before Alfa decided to do their own Spider and the project was shifted to Fiat.

     

    The first thing you notice about the 124 Spider is the polarizing design. Fiat says the design pays homage to the original 124 Spider from the sixties with an upright front end and rounded headlights. Towards the back is an oddly shaped trunk lid and rectangular taillights.

     

    While the Miata and 124 Spider use the same 90.9-inch wheelbase, the 124 Spider is about 5.5-inches longer than the Miata thanks to all of that new sheet metal.

     

    The 124 Spider's interior is the same as you'll find in the Miata. Aside from a Fiat badge on the steering wheel, everything else is pure Mazda.

     

    At least the powertrain is all Fiat. A turbocharged 1.4L MultiAir four-cylinder from the 500 Abarth provides 160 horsepower and 184 pound-feet of torque. There will be a choice of either a six-speed manual or automatic.

     

    Fiat will be launching the 124 Spider next summer. Now the first 124 models will be offered in a limited-edition Prima Edizione Lusso trim finished in a blue color and having individually numbered badges.

     

    Source: Fiat

     

     

    Press Release is on Page 2


     

    All-new 2017 Fiat 124 Spider Revives Legendary Nameplate with Iconic Italian Styling and Dynamic Driving Experience

    • 2017 Fiat 124 Spider returns nearly 50 years after original introduction
    • Revival of roadster continues expansion of FIAT brand in North America
    • Delivers iconic Italian style with modern adaptation of original Spider legend
    • Powered by turbocharged MultiAir 1.4-liter engine for 160 horsepower and 184 lb.-ft. of torque, available with manual or automatic transmission
    • Available with an array of safety and security features, plus technologies for added comfort and convenience
    • First 124 units will be available as limited-production Prima Edizione Lusso


    Auburn Hills, Mich., Nov 18, 2015 - The all-new 2017 Fiat 124 Spider revives the storied nameplate, bringing its classic Italian styling and performance to a new generation. Paying homage to the original 124 Spider nearly 50 years after its introduction, the 2017 Fiat 124 Spider delivers the ultimate Italian roadster experience with driving excitement, technology and safety combined with iconic Italian design.

     


    "There's no better way to celebrate 50 years of the Fiat 124 Spider than to bring back this iconic roadster, pairing its Italian styling of the past with all of the modern performance and technology of today," said Olivier François, Head of FIAT Brand, FCA – Global. "The 124 Spider expands the FIAT family, bringing to market yet another head-turning, fun-to-drive vehicle for our customers."

     

    Engaging driving dynamics through thoughtful engineering
    In North America, the Fiat 124 Spider is available with the proven 1.4-liter MultiAir Turbo four-cylinder engine, the engine's first application in a rear-wheel-drive vehicle. The engine delivers 160 horsepower and 184 lb.-ft. of torque, and is available with a six-speed manual transmission or a six-speed automatic transmission.

     

    The 124 Spider's suspension uses a double-wishbone layout in front and a multi-link in the rear, specifically tuned for greater stability while braking and turning. Steering is light and responsive with the use of an electric power assist (dual pinion) system.

     

    The steering and suspension setup, lightweight frame, balanced weight distribution and turbocharged engine combine for a dynamic driving experience. Noise vibration and harshness (NVH) enhancements, including an acoustic front windshield and insulation treatments, also help to deliver a refined, quiet ride.

     

    For an open-air driving experience, the Fiat 124 Spider's soft convertible top is easy to operate and requires minimal force, much like the original Spider's top.

     

    Loaded with safety, security and technology features
    The all-new roadster is available with an array of safety and security features, including adaptive front headlamps, Blind-spot Monitoring, Rear Cross Path detection and ParkView rear backup camera. A high-strength body helps to dissipate energy while optimizing occupant protection.

     

    The Fiat 124 Spider is also available with technology features for added comfort and convenience, including the FIAT Connect 7.0 system with 7-inch touchscreen display, multimedia control, Bluetooth connectivity, heated seats and Keyless Enter 'n Go.

     

    A Bose premium sound system with nine speakers, including dual headrest speakers, is also available for superior sound quality even with the top down.

     

    Design pays homage to past with modern interpretation of styling cues
    The all-new Fiat 124 Spider, designed at Centro Stile in Turin, Italy, borrows cues from the original Spider – widely considered one of Fiat's most beautiful cars of all time – and reinterprets them for today. The 2017 124 Spider has a timeless low-slung presence, with a classically beautiful bodyside, well-balanced proportions and a sporty cabin-to-hood ratio. Features like the hexagonal upper grille and grille pattern, "power domes" on the front hood and sharp horizontal rear lamps call to mind details of the historic Spider.

     

    The interior is crafted and designed to focus on the occupants, with premium soft-touch materials throughout. Ergonomics were applied to emphasize the driving experience and ensure easy operation of the steering wheel, pedals and shifter while driving.

     

    The 2017 Fiat 124 Spider is available in two trim levels: Classica and Lusso. Each model is available in six exterior paint colors, including Rosso Passione (Red Clear Coat), Bianco Gelato (White Clear Coat), Nero Cinema (Jet Black Metallic), Grigio Argento (Gray Metallic), Grigio Moda (Dark Gray Metallic) and Bronzo Magnetico (Bronze Metallic). The Lusso ("Luxury") model is also available in tri-coat Bianco Perla (Crystal White Pearl).

     

    Special edition gives enthusiasts the chance to own one of the first 2017 Fiat 124 Spiders
    To celebrate the return of the classic nameplate, the first 124 vehicles will be offered as a limited-edition Prima Edizione Lusso, as shown at the 2015 Los Angeles Auto Show. Each will be individually numbered with a commemorative badge and available in exclusive Azzurro Italia (Blue) exterior paint with premium leather seats in Saddle. Owners who purchase a Prima Edizione will also receive limited-edition items, including wearables and a poster. For more information about ordering a Fiat 124 Spider Prima Edizione, interested customers can sign up for updates at http://www.fiatusa.com.

     

    The all-new Fiat 124 Spider will arrive in FIAT studios in North America in summer 2016.

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    I think it's really interesting. Mazda does so well with engineering products. The entire brand exists because of its market niche.

     

    Which means they can effectively sell the underpinnings of their vehicles to other manufacturers without any fear really of true, direct competition. Niche engineering, sell it to the big boys, profit.

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    I have mixed feelings on this. I love the idea of turbo-charging a Miata, but I'd rather Mazda engineer it. This is the part where I'd normally say the opposite for the design, except... I feel like Mazda also has the edge here with their Kodo design. So, essentially, what we have here is a slightly uglier, likely far less reliable, but slightly angrier version of a car nearly everyone loves. Uh... win? I... guess?

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    I actually really like it.   For me, the Miata has always check all the right boxes for the engineering, but in all versions including the current one, I could never get into the styling of it. 

     

    Also, this is likely to be the most reliable model in the Fiat lineup by far.

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    I kinda wonder what pricing is going to be like.  They'd have a hard time making it a premium price over the Miata because of the Fiat badge I would think. 

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    Where's the market for this vehicle? That's the issue. So many niche vehicles Fiat is making thus far. 

     

    Where's the meat? I mean delaying vital products for pipe dreams isn't cool. 

     

    Okay maybe the Giulia was all worth it. But they gotta do some major product crashing for the Giulia. Get it here ASAP to drive attention back to FCA US. 

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    I thought it was going to be horrible. These pics appear to prove me wrong. Actually, I'm impressed that the stylists were able to give this car a completely different vibe than the Miata. Given the nature of Fiat's powertrains I expect that will also apply to the driving experience. The Abarth version that will inevitably come may actually get me behind the wheel for a test drive.

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    Your Miata will probably handle better too, to be honest. The Multiair in this car has an iron block. Good for boost, not so much for balance.

    Edited by El Kabong
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    This thing is ugly as hell. Major wasted opportunity. Guess we're gonna have to hope Alfa gets their hands on this platform to get a car off it that has enticing looks and performance.

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    This thing is ugly as hell. Major wasted opportunity. Guess we're gonna have to hope Alfa gets their hands on this platform to get a car off it that has enticing looks and performance.

     

    They won't. They already were working on this car and then gave it to Fiat instead.  Alfa is apparently getting their own platform. 

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    This thing is ugly as hell. Major wasted opportunity. Guess we're gonna have to hope Alfa gets their hands on this platform to get a car off it that has enticing looks and performance.

     

    They won't. They already were working on this car and then gave it to Fiat instead.  Alfa is apparently getting their own platform. 

     

     

    That makes no sense to me, but what the hell do I know?

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    Your Miata will probably handle better too, to be honest. The Multiair in this car has an iron block. Good for boost, not so much for balance.

    I'm thinking so as well. The added weight of the engine plus the five-plus inches they slapped on the front overhang is making me feel like that this thing is going to put on some serious pounds just in the front end. As a cruiser it would be awesome but if you care about cornering ability, and maybe even tracking the car, I'd pick the much more attractive Miata.

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    I rather take the Abarth engine and drop into a Miata. Best of both worlds in my book.

    This is what I thought while i was reading.

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    I like the Miata more.  I don't think the Fiat really looks all that good, and it doesn't really scream Fiat to me other than the grille opening.  But they need product to keep the dealerships open.

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      Cadillac has been stepping up its game in terms of their interiors with their new models. Case in point is the XT5. Our top-line Platinum tester featured faux suede, leather, and wood trim on a number of surfaces that make it look and feel quite luxurious. We’re glad to see the removal of the Piano Black panel for the center stack as it looked out of place and was a magnet for fingerprints. One design idea we’re not so keen on is the gear selector. Instead of a lever, Cadillac went with a joystick controller to engage the various gears. The controller isn’t intuitive as you’ll find yourself going into the wrong gear or not going into one at all on a somewhat regular basis. You will get the hang of it after a bit, but you can’t help but wonder why Cadillac decided to change this in the first place.
      The leather used for the seats feel quite supple and help fix the issue of uncomfortable seats in the SRX. Interior space has grown, thanks to a two-inch increase in the wheelbase. Rear legroom has grown 3.2 inches and it allows anyone sitting back there to stretch out. Headroom is still slightly tight thanks in part to our tester coming with the optional panoramic sunroof. But this can be alleviated by recalling the rear seat slightly. Cargo space in smack dab in the middle - 30 cubic feet with the rear seats up and 63 cubic feet when folded.
      Cadillac User Interface (CUE) has been one of our least favorite infotainment systems to use since it was introduced a few years ago. The litany of problems ranging from a touch sensitive buttons not responding to inputs to the system crashing have dragged Cadillac down. But the system has been getting a number of changes and updates over the past few years. For starters, Cadillac has removed most of the touch-sensitive buttons from the system. Being able to press an actual button to turn on the heated/ventilated seats or adjust the temperature is really nice. It is a shame Cadillac didn’t bring back an actual volume knob for CUE - the touch-sensitive strip is still there. But at least there are volume controls on the steering wheel that allow you to avoid it. The system itself has been overhauled with a faster processor and a slightly improved interface. The changes make a difference as the system is snappier and a little bit easier to understand. If you still find CUE a bit overwhelming, you’ll be happy to know that CUE now features Apple CarPlay and Android Auto integration.
      Cadillac bucks the trend in the midsize luxury crossover class by only offering one engine - a 3.6L V6 producing 310 horsepower and 271 pound-feet of torque (@ 5,000 rpm). This comes paired with an eight-speed automatic and the choice of front or all-wheel drive. The V6 is the weak link in the XT5. When leaving a stop, it takes a moment for the engine to realize the accelerator pedal has been pressed before it starts working. This is even worse when you’re trying to make a pass as it seems the engine was busy taking a nap before it was hastily woken up. Once the engine is awake, it takes its time to get up to speed. There is a positive to the V6 engine and that is the stop-start system. Unlike some previous systems that are slow to restart the engine or do so in a very rough fashion, Cadillac’s system is quick and smooth when you let off the brake. The eight-speed automatic seems reluctant to downshift at times. We’re guessing this transmission was calibrated for fuel economy. At least the eight-speed automatic delivers smooth shifts.
      Fuel economy figures for the 2017 Cadillac XT5 all-wheel drive stand at 18 City/26 Highway/21 Combined. Our average fuel economy for the week landed around 22.3 mpg in mostly city driving. 
      One characteristic we liked about the SRX was its comfortable ride. Yes, it flies in the face of Cadillac’s message of beating the German’s at their own handling game. But buyers loved the smoothness on offer. Sadly, the XT5 loses a bit of the smoothness. Despite our tester featuring an adaptive suspension system, the XT5 wasn’t able to fully iron out bumps. Some of this can be attributed to 20-inch wheels fitted to our tester. At least the XT5 keeps road and wind noise out of the interior. Like the SRX, the XT5 isn’t sporty. Body motions are kept in check, but the light weight and nonexistent feel from the steering puts a halt to that idea. 
      An item Cadillac has been touting on the XT5 is the Rear Camera Mirror. Available only on the top-line Platinum, the mirror can stream the view from the rear camera by flicking a switch. We found this to be really helpful when backing out of parking lots as it gave a view that isn’t hindered by the thick rear pillars. Hopefully, Cadillac spreads this feature down to other trims of the XT5. 
      In some respects, the 2017 Cadillac XT5 is a step forward. The model improves on certain parts of the SRX such as a more luxurious and spacious interior, improved CUE system, and sharper looks. But in other respects, Cadillac messed up with the XT5. The 3.6L V6 needs to be shown the door and a new engine that offers better low-end performance to take its place. The loss of the smooth ride that the SRX was known for hurts the XT5 as well. Finally, there is the price. Our XT5 Platinum tester came with an as-tested price of $69,985. It is a nice crossover. But if we’re dropping close $70,000 on a luxury crossover, we can think of a few models that would be ahead of the XT5.
      It should be noted that the Cadillac XT5 has taken the place of the SRX of being the brand’s best selling model. At the end of 2016, Cadillac moved 39,485 XT5s. But unlike the SRX which we could recommend without hesitation, the XT5 comes with a number of caveats that we cannot do the same.
      Disclaimer: Cadillac Provided the XT5, Insurance, and One Tank of Gas
      Year: 2017
      Make: Cadillac
      Model: SRX
      Trim: Platinum
      Engine: 3.6L V6 VVT DI
      Driveline: Nine-Speed Automatic, All-Wheel Drive
      Horsepower @ RPM: 310 @ 6,700
      Torque @ RPM: 271 @ 5,000
      Fuel Economy: City/Highway/Combined - 18/26/21
      Curb Weight: N/A
      Location of Manufacture: Spring Hill, TN
      Base Price: $62,500
      As Tested Price: $69,985 (Includes $995.00 Destination Charge)
      Options:
      Driver Assist Package - $2,340.00
      20-inch Wheels - $2,095.00
      Trailering Equipment - $575.00
      Black Ice Body Side Moldings - $355.00
      Compact Spare Tire - $350.00
      Black Ice License Plate Bar - $310.00
      Black Roof Rails - $295.00
      Black Splash Guards - $170.00
    • By William Maley
      I wasn’t too keen on the redesigned Hyundai Elantra I drove last year. In the review, I said it didn’t really do enough to compete with the likes of the Chevrolet Cruze and Honda Civic. But maybe the model could redeem itself with the introduction of the Elantra Sport. Hyundai made some key changes such as adding a turbo engine, revised rear suspension, and slight tweaks inside and out. 
      I was really excited to check it out and spend some quality time with it. But life had other plans. The day I was supposed to get the Elantra Sport, I took a tumble down a flight of stairs, causing a fracture in my right leg. Because of this, I really didn’t get to spent a lot of time in the Sport. This is going to be more of a first impressions piece than a review. Hopefully, in the near future, I get to spend some time in the Sport again, barring any injuries.
      Hyundai only made some small changes such as a blacked out grille, side skirts, rear diffuser, and 18-inch alloy wheels for the Sport. The end result is something that stands out from other Elantra’s, but not to the point where it looks like someone went on a shopping spree in the JC Whitney catalog. The only changes the Elantra Sport gets inside are new front seats with extra side bolstering, different gauge layout, and a flat-bottom steering wheel. Otherwise, it is your standard Elantra interior which isn’t a bad thing. The simple dash layout comes paired with the use higher quality materials. Back seat space has seen a nice improvement in terms of legroom, while headroom is still slightly tight for taller folks. Under the hood is a new turbocharged 1.6L four-cylinder with 201 horsepower and 195 pound-feet of torque. This can be paired with a six-speed manual or my tester’s seven-speed DCT. It should be noted this engine is also being used in the recently refreshed Kia Soul! (Exclaim), but it only comes with the DCT. First impressions of this powertrain were disappointing. It doesn’t feel eager to accelerate quickly as the DCT bogs down at lower speeds. Once above a certain speed, the powertrain becomes alive. Hyundai engineered the 1.6 to deliver torque evenly across the rpm band which gives the impression that you will not run out of steam anytime soon. The DCT delivers quick up and downshifts. You can remove most of the bogginess by putting the vehicle into the Sport mode which sharpens the throttle response and quickens gear changes. This makes the Elantra Sport raring to go when leaving from a stop or acerbating from a corner. Underneath the Elantra Sport’s skin, Hyundai has made some significant changes to the chassis. The big change is a new multi-link rear suspension setup that is said to improve the driving dynamics. There is also revised springs, dampers, and steering ratio. End result? This is Hyundai’s best effort in making a fun to drive vehicle. Body roll is minimized and the vehicle feels poised when going into a corner. Steering is still a mixed bag. Turn-in is quick and there is plenty of weight, but there is barely any feedback from the road. For a sporty model, it is a bit disappointing. Compared to the standard Elantra, the Sport does let a few bumps come inside. But it isn’t to a point where your back will be in pain. There’s a nice balance between handling and comfort. Pricing for the Elantra Sport starts at $21,650 for the manual and $22,750 for the DCT. The Elantra Sport seen here came with an as-tested price of $25,985 as it featured an optional premium package that adds a number of features such as an 8-inch touchscreen with navigation, sunroof, blind-spot monitoring with rear-cross traffic alert, and upgraded audio system. Where does the Elantra Sport fit in? It is like the Nissan Sentra SR Turbo/NISMO where it is sportier than the standard model, but not a full blown sport compact like the Volkswagen Golf GTI or Ford Focus ST. Think of it a warm compact and one that is quite surprising (for the brief time I drove it). Disclaimer: Hyundai Provided the Elantra Sport, Insurance, and One Tank of Gas
      Year: 2017
      Make: Hyundai
      Model: Elantra
      Trim: Sport
      Engine: 1.6 Turbo GDI DOHC 16-valve four-cylinder
      Driveline: Seven-speed DCT, Front-Wheel Drive
      Horsepower @ RPM: 201 @ 6000 
      Torque @ RPM: 195 @ 1500~4500
      Fuel Economy: City/Highway/Combined - 26/33/29
      Curb Weight: 3,131 lbs
      Location of Manufacture: Montgomery, Alabama
      Base Price: $22,750
      As Tested Price: $25,985 (Includes $835.00 Destination Charge)
      Options:
      Premium Package for Sport - $2,400.00

      View full article
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