Fiat 124 Spider to start at $24,995

Michael Wayland
The Detroit News

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV on Friday announced the 2017 Fiat 124 Spider will arrive in dealerships this summer starting at $24,995.

That price is for the entry-level Classica model, which is powered by a turbocharged MultiAir 1.4-liter engine with 160 horsepower and 184 lb.-ft. of torque. A Lusso model with the same specs will start at $27,495, while a performance Abarth model with 165 horsepower and 184 lb.-ft. of torque will begin at $28,195.

“Our mission at FIAT is to deliver Italian design and heritage in vehicles that are fun to drive,” said Olivier Francois, head of global Fiat brand, in a statement. “The all-new 2017 Fiat 124 Spider brings these elements together and comes loaded with open-air fun, stunning Italian design and the proven turbocharged MultiAir 1.4-liter engine.”

The prices are for a six-speed manual transmission and do not include destination, taxes and other fees. Add another $1,350 for a six-speed automatic transmission for each of the three roadster models.

To celebrate the return of the 124 Spider after a nearly 50-year hiatus, the first 124 vehicles will be offered as a limited-edition Prima Edizione Lusso. Each will be individually numbered with a commemorative badge and available in exclusive Azzurro Italia (Blue) exterior paint with premium leather seats in Saddle.

The Fiat 124 Spider Prima Edizione Lusso will have a U.S. Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price of $35,000, plus $995 destination.

The 124 Spider was last sold in the United States in 1985. Its return to the market is an attempt to increase awareness of Fiat, which has struggled to drum up sales since returning to North America after a nearly 30-year hiatus in 2011.

The entry-level starting price of the 124 Spider is $80 more than the Mazda MX-5 Miata, which the Fiat roadster shares the underpinnings. Mazda is producing the vehicle in Japan for the Italian auto brand.

The 124 Spider is aesthetically different than the Miata, including Fiat-designed front and rear fascias with unique lighting, badging and character lines. The Fiat roadster also features a more powerful Italian engine.

The 124 Spider is slightly longer than the Miata and weighs roughly 100 pounds more, due primarily to the engine.

Separately Friday, Fiat Chrysler announced it was releasing a new complimentary software update to add Apple Siri Eyes Free capability to several of its vehicles equipped with a Uconnect 8.4 touchscreen system: 2013-2015 Ram 1500, 2500, 3500; 2013-2015 Dodge Viper; 2014-2015 Dodge Durango; 2015 Dodge Challenger and Charger; 2014-2015 Jeep Cherokee and Grand Cherokee; 2015 Jeep Renegade; and 2015 Chrysler 200 and 300.

Drivers can activate Siri Eyes Free from the voice button on the steering wheel and speak natural language voice commands to send text messages, play music, set reminders, place phone calls and access turn-by-turn directions.

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