Pricing is yet to be confirmed but the twin-under-the-skin to the Mazda MX-5 — made on the same Japanese production line — is expected to cost close to $40,000, putting it in direct competition with the car on which it is based.
Fiat Australia had been considering whether to bring in the regular version of the Spider, the flagship Abarth, or both models.
The decision will also save FCA Australia from the issue of pricing the regular Fiat 124 Spider against its platform mate, the Mazda MX-5.
Sourced directly from nearby Japan, the MX-5 is priced in Australia from a sharp $31,990 for the entry 1.5-litre model. By comparison, both versions of the 124 Spider are shipped from basic production in Japan to Italy for finishing, meaning that competitive pricing against the MX-5 could have proven an insurmountable challenge.
And while the European Abarth 124 Spider inherits the 160 hp turbocharged 1.4-liter unit with the Record Monza exhaust, we still don’t know what the Italians are cooking for the US incarnation of the machine in terms of exhaust. Heck, even the name will be different, as American aficionados are set to receive the 2017 Fiat 124 Spider Elaborazione Abarth.