I have a feeling next summer is going to be great. Chiefly the cause of this suspicion is the North American release of the all-new, Italian drop-top roadster-the 2017 Fiat 124 Spider.
It has been 50 years since the original was introduced and it was heralded as one of the prettiest the brand has ever made.
The original came to American showrooms in 1968 for the cost of $3,265.
What you got was a roadster with a proper 5-speed manual transmission, 1438cc twin-cam engine, four-wheel disc brakes, intermittent windshield wipers and steering-column-mounted lighting controls, not to mention the sexy Italian design.
The car was so popular among Americans less than 10 years after its introduction Fiat began producing the vehicle exclusively for the U.S. market. There are still 8,000 or so registered in the country many of which are the renamed Spider 2000 made until 1985.
Some things will never change and the 124 Spider is one of them.
The 2017 model is very attractively sculpted, it bears a striking resemblance to the original and still uses a soft top roof that will no doubt be easy to operate.
What has changed is the powertrain.
The latest will feature Fiat’s Multiair 1.4L Turbocharged engine. It will produce 160 hp and 184 lb-ft.
You will be able to choose a manual transmission, which is the only way to experience a car like this.
There will also be the numerous modern safety and convenience technologies that we have come to be dependent on.
On the list are things like adaptive front headlamps, Blind-spot Monitoring, Rear Cross Path detection and ParkView rear backup camera.
The Fiat 124 Spider driver is also able to enjoy the FIAT Connect 7.0 system with 7-inch touchscreen display, multimedia control, Bluetooth connectivity, heated seats and Keyless Enter ‘n Go.
As if the engine note will not be music enough for your ears the 9 speaker Bose stereo should only add to the occassion.
Being a roadster we can expect the new icon will handle very well. It will come with a double-wishbone layout in front and a multi-link in the rear.
The system is tuned to provide stability while braking and turning. Steering will be light and responsive by using an electric power assist (dual pinion) system.
When it comes to dealers throughout the U.S. it will be available in 2 trim levels: Classica and Lusso.
Form here you can select from 6 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).
For the first 124 customers who buy a 2017 Fiat 124 Spider, the company is selling a limited edition numbered Prima Edizione.
It will feature the exclusive Azzuro Italia or Blue paint and premium leather finished in Saddle.
Yes summer 2016 looks like it will be great, especially for those who get the chance to drive the 124 Spider.