Fiat Launch New Tipo & 124 Spider

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Inkeeping with Fiat’s current philosophy of reviving some of their most famous model names, two more have rejoined the Italian company’s line-up. Drawing from the 80’s and the 60’s, once Car of the Year back in 1989 the ever practical Tipo has quickly emulated its earlier incarnation and immediately claimed a major European award. Functional and family orientated, the new Tipo comes in both hatchback and estate guises, both models are aimed fair and square at those looking for no nonsense practicality.


Described by Fiat as offering ‘Amore for Less’, the famous song echoing around the interior, the new Tipo offers customers four trim levels of Elite, Easy, Easy Plus and Lounge along with two 1.4litre and 1.6 litre petrol engines, a  three diesel options of a 1.3 litre and two 1.6 litre with 95hp and 120hp outputs. All engines return a respectable 40mpg plus fuel consumption whilst the varying specifications allow business users and families to choose the interior trim that best suits their particular needs. Equally, with the rear seats in place, the smaller of the two still offers a useful 440 litres of cargo space rising to 550 litres for the estate.


Best described as willing and competent, whilst the hatch will more than likely form the bulk of the new Tipo sales, it’s the estate or Sportswagon that displays the more dynamic driving qualities. Light and undemanding to drive, the Tipo now offers customers a more stylish Italian option with eight vibrant colour options all of which favorably compare to the more mundane offerings from Ford, VW and Vauxhall.


Likewise the pricing structure, the entry level Tipo Easy priced at a tempting £12,995 rising to £19,995 for the range topping Lounge, each variant exactly a £1,000 more than the other. Priced to attract those who require more than desire C-Segment four-door transportation Fiat have launched the Tipo with significantly tempting lease figures that once again undercut their competition.


At the opposite end of the spectrum, after a gap of thirty-six years the 124 Spider has finally made a welcomed return. Sat on what’s best described as a borrowed Mazda MX5 floorpan, the 124 draws heavily on its now classic predecessor DNA. Looks, line and ethos have created a more than worthy 21st Century reincarnation that epitomizes open-top Fiat motoring. From the front, side or rear the new 124 is a Spider in every sense whilst the longitudinally mounted turbo charged 1.4 litre MultiAir engine delivers a useful 140hp along with a exploitable 240Nm of torque, use of the 6-speed transmission’s lower gears keeping both the turbos and the torque at optimum, grin inducing levels, rear wheel drive still the only format for this type of car.


The 124 is responsive, light and neutral to drive, the dual piston electronic power steering finger tip weighted, and the 124 is equally at home around town or along a high-speed blast along demanding B-roads. Inkeeping for this type of car and the owners it has already attracted in sizable pre-launch orders, 62mph comes up in 7.5 seconds with a top speed of 134mph. Likewise, the thirty or so mpg is more than acceptable for a two-seater roadster of this type although lighter use of the throttle significantly adds to the 124’s economy.  


Displaying impressive levels of build the three trim levels of Classica, Lusso and Lusso Plus range from more basic fabric trim to a full leather interior with the option of two solid colours, pearlescent white and five stylish metallic hues with genuinely stylish contrasting trim colour options and the choice of 16” or 17” alloys. If criticism had to be leveled at the new 124 it’s the rather muted exhaust note and a cabin that lacks sufficient oddments stowage. And whilst there are useful cubbies to the rear of the seats along with a surprisingly capacious boot, no door pockets or glovebox can at times prove annoying.


On the plus side Fiat has also ensured the new Spider is affordable with a pricing plan running from £19,545 up to £23,295 allied to well thought-out leasing plans. Over the years numerous manufacturers have proven there is a ready and willing market for a traditional two-seater open topper but with the 124 Spider Fiat are banking on a far more expansive age range of older customers who remember the original and younger buyers looking for true Italian style. It’s a safe bet that the 124 Spider will instill an eagerness to buy in the both along with a whole host of those in between. Has Fiat taken a gamble reintroducing a famous model and classically inspired sports car? I doubt it when this inspiring small car is a guaranteed winner straight from the off.



By; Mark Stone






Fiat Launch All New Tipo & 124 Spider

Fiat Launch All New Tipo & 124 Spider