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Fiat 124 Roadster arrives on US shores

by Justin King

The Italian roadster\'s predecessor was last sold in the US more than 30 years ago.

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles has imported its first batch of Fiat 124 Spiders into the US market.

Unlike the original Fiat 124 Spider introduced in the mid-'60s, the resurrected model began its lengthy ocean voyage in Japan. FCA borrowed its underpinnings from the latest MX-5 Miata, with production centralized at Mazda's Hiroshima plant.

The Spider's bodywork is entirely unique to Fiat, while the FCA's own 1.4-liter MultiAir engine can be found under the hood. The turbocharged four is good for 160 horsepower and 184 lb-ft of torque, delivered via a six-speed gearbox in manual or automatic form.

The iconic Italian roadster was last sold in the US market more than 30 years ago, concluding 17 years of sales. The company is hoping to evoke the nameplate's history as the first shipment of 8,000 new Spiders begin to arrive in US showrooms.

If the car is well received, it could help invigorate Fiat's struggling reentry to the US market. The 500X has quickly become Fiat's second-best seller, but a steep drop in demand for the 500 and 500L has kept the brand down by 19 percent through June.

The roadster should be available to purchase in the coming days or weeks. Prices start at $25,990 (including $995 freight).. Live images by Brian Williams.

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