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New Fiat 124 roadster will be ‘very masculine’, says design boss

Italy's upcoming, MX-5-based two-seater won't look 'delicate', Roberto Giolito tells TG

Published: 17 Jul 2015

If you lust after a small, back-to-basics roadster but can’t handle the social stigma of driving around in a Mazda MX-5, then do we have some good news for you.

While driving the ‘new’ Fiat 500 in Italy this week, TG also managed to grab a few minutes with Roberto Giolito, Fiat’s Head of Design. The softly spoken Italian confirmed to us his firm's upcoming roadster (Fiat's first since the Barchetta pictured above), which will be based on the MX-5 and likely badged 124, will look “very masculine”, and not at all “delicate”.

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This is, officially, Very Good News. The new MX-5 is a cracker - lightweight, sweet to drive and a welcome diversion from the current crop of tech-laden, soggy roadsters - so we, for one, can’t wait to see the Fiat two-seater in the metal.

“You really have to wait a few months,” Giolito told us. “Maybe Geneva [motor show, next held in March 2016], or even earlier.”

What else do we know about the 124? Well, it’ll be based on MX-5 underpinnings, and built at Mazda’s plant in Hiroshima as part of a partnership between the two companies. And, um, that’s about all we know for sure.

We know not what engines it will have - though it's been mooted the 124 could gain the Alfa 4C's 237bhp turbo four-cylinder, which would spell some pretty spirited performance. We don't know how much it might cost, nor, even, whether it’ll wear a Fiat badge, or an Abarth one.

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The roadster looked set to wear an Alfa badge when FCA first announced its partnership with Mazda back in 2012, but with Alfa now pursuing its own 'skunkworks' strategy for world domination, it's returned to the Fiat mothership.

What would power your ideal, lightweight Fiat roadster, then?

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