FIAT gets Miata-based roadster

January 28th, 2015 by


FIAT gets Miata Based Roadster

There are no crystal balls in the automotive world to let the world know exactly what might or might not be coming down the road, or at least so the manufacturers would have us believe. However, the reality is that from time to time a good rumor can quickly become a good story and then in time a fact. For those who follow the use of trademarks and trademark names, anytime an automotive manufacturer like FIAT files for the trademark rights to use a name like Spider, you can bet something is coming down the pipeline.

What’s In a Name?

The Spider name in one form or another has been attached to cars bearing the FIAT badge for many years. In recent months FIAT has filed not one, but two trademark applications for the rights to the 124 and 124 Spider nameplates. Bear in mind that this will not be the first time a FIAT car has born the 124 moniker, it was used back in the early 80’s in the guise of a 124 Spider roadster built on an existing platform as well as a sedan and a coupe bearing the same basic nameplate.

It was rumored that Alfa Romeo is in the midst of creating a new roadster of their own. At the same time it is well-known that FIAT-Arbath will be getting their own version of the 2006 Mazda MX-5 Miata platform to work with. In some circles it is thought that this platform is intended to be the basis of the new roadster from Alfa Romeo, but Sergio Marchionne, CEO of the new FIAT-Chrysler conglomerate has stated he wants no Alfa Romeos being built outside Italy. As such there has not been much information regarding a Mazda-Alfa Romeo cooperative effort.

Hard to Pass Up

With the likelihood of a combination Mazda Miata-Alfa Romeo still very uncertain, those in the know feel that FIAT would be smart to invest in this platform as the basis of the new 124 Spider. Having access to this platform and the Mazda platform could prove to be very difficult for FIAT to pass up given the popularity of the roadster in U.S. based markets. The same concept applies to FIAT’s love for historic name badges, for example look how long the 500 series of cars has been around, and how many more years the company expects to continue using it.

To continue going down the same path, consider the distinct possibility that using the 124 nameplate without the addition of the Spider badge could well indicate the possibility of FIAT producing a new sedan based on the MX-5 Miata platform. The hardtop 124 coupe has a long and storied history with FIAT and could well indicate a variant of the Miata that Mazda has never been produced by this Japanese company, yet would become extremely popular in the U.S.

FIAT Arbath and Mazda

Many feel that taking the Mazda MX-5 and creating a new 124 and 124 Spider would create a car that would be more suited to wearing the FIAT Arbath nameplate. This is yet to be seen as the concept car is apparently still very much in the earliest development stages. However, FIAT has announced that further development of this project is continuing in-house but to date no particular release time frame has been forthcoming.

The most important thing to consider regarding the development of this new cooperative project is that it will finally bring a sports car bearing the FIAT Spider nameplate back to the U.S. This will be a very welcome addition to the FIAT lineup and one we at Daytona FIAT look forward to being able to offer our buyers.

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