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Hot Spider’s an Italian stunner 

page 23 Fiat 124 Spider

FIAT has a fine record of producing super small and sporting cars.

So I wasn’t too surprised when I discovered its latest sports model was a little stunner.

The 124 Spider is built on the Mazda MX-5’s platform but that’s where the similarity ends.

This Italian roadster has its own great looks – stylish from whatever angle you look at it and comes with a punchy 1.4-litre 140hp MultiAir turbo petrol engine.

And I got an added bonus during my time with the car – getting the top down on a bright, sunny winter’s day.

That allowed me to enjoy the Spider to the maximum.

The temperature wasn’t great outside but I was warm enough with the heating on my feet, legs and face, sitting in my leather, heated seat.

There was plenty of fun factor in the Spider as I sped along some winding, country roads.

The sports suspension isn’t too harsh and ride comfort, even on some potholed surfaces, was pretty good.

The power steering was responsive as I tackled bends at speed, with this rear-wheel drive roadster super agile as it clung to the tarmac.

The turbo engine also provided plenty of power and a nice sporty sound when pushed at high revs.

Racing off the blocks to 62mph in just 7.5 seconds, the Spider wasn’t short of pace when I wanted a quick start.

And it didn’t disappoint in mid-range either as I pushed it up and down what was a super slick six-speed manual gearbox.

Pulling the manual top up and down is simple and takes seconds – without having to get out of the car.

This multi-layer canvas hood keeps the noise levels down in the cabin to good effect.

With a top speed of 134mph, the Spider was a quiet per-former at motorway speeds and the cruise control with speed limiter on my top-of-the-range Lusso Plus model helped to keep me within legal limits.

The car was also perfect in town driving and parking in tight areas – assisted by rear parking sensors and rear camera.

The Spider is a real head-turner with its long bonnet incorporating twin power domes, nose featuring LED headlamps and hexagonal upper grille, swallow-tail rear wings, integrated rear spoiler, horizontal tail lamps and twin exhausts pipes.

There are three trim levels – Classica, Lusso and Lusso Plus – with an impressive list of standard equipment.

Entry-level models’ spec includes air conditioning, a leather-trimmed steering wheel with audio controls, a leather-trimmed gear knob, cruise control with speed limiter, 16-inch alloys, keyless engine start and a powerful infotainment system with USB, AUX and Bluetooth connec-tivity.

Step up to Lusso and this brings seven-inch touchscreen infotainment system with sat-nav with 3D maps, rear parking camera, 17-inch alloy wheels, heated leather upholstery, automatic climate control, front fog lamps, keyless entry, chrome exhaust tips and a premium silver finish on the windscreen frame and rollover bars.

My range-topper’s spec also brought adaptive LED head-lamps, LED DRLs, automatic lights and wipers and a super nine-speaker BOSE sound system – including stereo headrest speakers on both seats.

The sporty cabin has a high-quality finish with soft-touch materials.

This Fiat 124 Spider is as dynamic as it looks and offers owners lots of exciting driving.

On-the-road price for the Lusso Plus is £25,050 with the only extra on the test model – urban white pearlescent paint – adding £750 to the price.

The Spider is a super little roadster – top up or down – and you can get your hands on the entry-model Classica for just £21,050.