My favourite car from the New York Auto Show is an underestimated Italian convertible

Fiat 124 Spider Elaborazione AbarthWilliam FiermanThe Fiat 124 Spider Elaborazione Abarth. I love it.

They’re calling it the “Fiata” — a slight at its Mazda Miata underpinnings. But it might be so much more.

The little Fiat 124 Spider and the sportier Abarth version were hidden away in a corner of the New York Auto Show past a replica of the car from Chitty Chitty Bang Bang and a selection from Toyota’s soon-to-be-defunct Scion brand.

But the car stole my heart for a few reasons.

It looks better than the Miata; a beloved car that has typified the itty-bitty roadster genre since, well, forever. And it comes with heritage, something I am indeed a sucker for.

The car was a welcome respite from the high-powered automotive titans that headlined the show. It’s a sports car in the classic sense: a good looking and reasonably priced (no official number yet, but a new Mazda Miata will set you back $25,000-30,000) automobile designed solely for driving enjoyment.

The Fiat 124 Spider is a Mazda Miata, improved via an Italian engine and design.


Along with upgraded brakes, suspension, exhaust, and a new differential, the 124 Spider Abarth Elaborazione can be ordered with a matte black hood ...

William Fierman

... hearkening back to the Fiat 124 Sport Spider, a quintessential Italian sports car.

Wikimedia Commons

The new model is the perfect car for a winding road and a Sunday afternoon.

William Fierman

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