FIAT 124 SPIDER LUSSO PLUS: A Rush Of Blood To The Head

The following is a re-edit of a piece posted by MotorMartin on DriveTribe under The Junk Yard banner run by Tony Yates, perhaps better known as @Xinterceptor.

FIAT’s inspiration behind their all new 124 Spider Lusso Plus was their own 124 sports car from way back in 1966 with appropriately gorgeous styling, proportions and performance to match. Indeed, FIAT themselves state that: only the great icons of the past are able to reinvent themselves without losing those details that made them immortal. It is with this spirit that the new FIAT 124 Spider fully reinterprets the lines of the 1966 model in a modern vein, with it’s svelte silhouette, perfect proportions, low centre of gravity, passenger compartment moved back and long bonnet true of an authentic sports car. FIAT have spent time getting the look just right for the modern audience, taking care to present the new Spider as a thoroughly modern take on the cult of the roadster, a car that declares it’s intent the moment your eyes linger upon it.

Specifications are impressive with the infotainment system available in both the Lusso and Lusso plus models featuring DAB radio, Sat Nav and applications, WiFi and Bluetooth® connectivity, two USB ports and aux input, with all systems and options controlled by a central multimedia dial, touchscreen or steering wheel controls meaning you’re able to adjust the FIAT until it’s set up perfectly for the drive and conditions available. Menus are simple to navigate, an intuitive Navigation system offering both 2D and 3D views of the route ahead and an upgraded BOSE® stereo that works with headrest mounted speakers and such clear sound that even top down driving doesn’t hamper the quality available. There’s also climate control, rear parking camera and sensors, keyless start and a decent boot.

This is a car that has been designed around the driver with FIAT themselves confirming: The optimum driver’s position is guaranteed by the vertical steering wheel and floor hinged accelerator pedal. The rev counter placed in the centre of the instrument cluster and the position of the gear knob with short lever designed to enhance sports driving and benefit the car’s handling. And you can feel all this the moment you unclip the easy to retract roof and push it back behind your head, adjust the mirrors and reach for the steering wheel. Everything is to hand and logically set out, switches click with a reassuring quality, dials feel solid and hardwearing and there’s a very real sense of purpose exuding from the fixtures and fittings surround you.

With it’s 1.4 MultiAir Turbo, 4 cylinder engine delivering 140bhp at 5000rpm and 170 ft/lb torque at 2250rpm and 0-62mph in 7.5s, the Spider is certainly powerful enough when you put your foot down, the 124’s lack of weight allowing it to rapidly shrink distances between corners and accelerate through them once conditions open up. The steering offers plenty of feel from the front wheels allowing you to place the FIAT exactly where you need it to be whilst the traditional rear wheel drive set up of the roadster means that the steering doesn’t need to fight against anything other than your input making the 124 a delight along a long and winding road.

The FIAT 124 Spider Lusso Plus is a traditional roadster with compact dimensions, light weight, rear wheel drive and power enough to be thrilling but not enough to intimidate. It includes technology that delivers up to 44.1mpg combined and CO2 emissions of 148 g/km and all in a thoroughly modern package.

With the base Classica model coming in at £21,050 and the 124 Spider Lusso Plus on test at £25,050. This is a roadster that should fly from the showrooms as quickly as it can attack your favourite road. It’s a bargain and you definitely want one.

Where will you go?

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