Revived in 2016, 50 years after its iconic predecessor first hit the streets, the Fiat 124 Spider was the first compact to challenge the popular Mazda MX-5 Miata after many years. Ironically, the Italian roadster sits on the same underpinnings as the Miata, as Mazda and FCA co-developed most of the chassis. But the 124 Spider received its very own styling — some say that it looks more elegant than the Miata — and borrowed its engines from other Fiat models. And unlike the Mazda, it uses turbocharged units too. With less than two years on the market, the 124 Spider lineup has already expanded to include various trims, an Abarth model, and even a racing version. At the 2018 Geneva Motor Show, Fiat launched yet another variant, the 124 Spider S-Design.
If you’re tempted to think about Audi S-Line models, you’re not doing it wrong. The S-Design package is somewhat similar, adding extra features inside and out. The exterior is slightly sportier and boasts an exclusive set of wheels, while the cabin gets extra standard equipment that enhances luxury and comfort. Was another package necessary with so many trims and special-edition versions already available? Not exactly, but this is what keeps the market going and the customers coming into dealerships. Let’s find out more about the S-Design upgrade below.
Continue reading to learn more about the Fiat 124 Spider S-Design.
What Makes the Fiat 124 Spider S-Design Special?
- Polished steel details
- Exclusive 17-inch wheels
- Chrome rims
- Red side sill stripe
- Standard foglamps
- Tricolor badge
- Chrome exhaust pipes
- Leather seats
- Leather steering wheel
- Automatic climate control
- Cruise control
- Mp3 radio with USB
The S-Design model isn’t exactly easy to spot, so you have to pay attention to a few carefully placed details. For starters, the Italian drop-top gets a bit of extra sheen by means of polished steel finish roll bar, A-pillar, and side mirror caps. The wheels are also exclusive to this model. Measuring 17 inches, the come in a lightweight, twin-spoke design. The rims are wrapped in chrome, adding a dash of elegance to the convertible.
Above the side sills, there’s a red stripe that draws attention to the 124’s low center of gravity and the seating position. It goes well with the white presentation model, but it might not be a good idea on a red car. Hopefully, Fiat offers this stripe in other colors as well. Speaking of which, the S-Design model also sports a tricolor badge on the rear fascia, complemented by dual chrome exhaust pipes. Up front, the foglamps are included as standard equipment.
Inside the cabin, everything remains familiar, but the S-Design comes with a bunch of extra standard features. Go with this trim and you’ll get leather wrapped seats and steering wheel, automatic climate control, cruise control, and the Keyless Go system. An mp3 radio unit with USB port and four speakers is also included. Safety has been enhanced too, with four airbags included at no additional cost.
The drivetrain remains standard in the S-Design, which is equipped with the same turbocharged, 1.4-liter four-cylinder engine as the regular 124 Spider. Output is rated at 140 horsepower and 240 Nm of torque, which converts to 138 horses and 177 pound-feet of U.S. folks. Both the six-speed manual and automatic transmissions are available.
As you might have already guessed, performance numbers remain unchanged. When equipped with the manual gearbox, the 124 Spider charges from 0 to 62 mph in 7.5 seconds, before reaching a top speed of 215 kph (134 mph). The automatic transmission makes the roadster a bit slower, with a 0-to-62 mph time of 7.6 seconds and a top speed of 214 kph (133 mph). The suspension setup is again standard with a double-wishbone layout at the front and a multi-link to the rear. Combined with the responsive steering and the electric power assist system, it delivers greater stability while braking and turning.
Pricing information for the S-Design model is not yet available, but it shouldn’t be much more expensive than the trim it is based on.
Read our full review on the 2018 Fiat 124 Spider.
Read more Fiat news.
Read more Geneva Motor Show news.