Fiat brings back the Spider

Fiat revives the 124 Spider
Fiat revives the 124 Spider

Fiat unveiled a "new" two-seat sports car at the Los Angeles Auto Show Thursday -- the reborn version of the the Fiat 124 Spider.

It marks the return of a model name that hasn't been available in the United States since 1985.

The original Fiat 124 Spider was a small, fun-to-drive sportscar that had adoring fans, but also a reputation for mechanical troubles boiled down to the memorable joke "Fix It Again, Tony."

The new Fiat Spider shares substantial engineering with Mazda's MX-5 Miata thanks to a partnership between the automakers, so hopefully it will avoid the troubles of the old Fiat Spider.

But even the new Fiats don't have a great track record -- Consumer Reports recently named Fiat the least reliable car brand sold in America.

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Fiat's announcement hyped the car's design as much as its performance.

The new Spider brings back this "iconic roadster, pairing its Italian styling of the past with all of the modern performance and technology of today," said Olivier François, head of the Fiat brand.

The Fiat Spider is slightly larger than the Mazda Miata to create more usable cargo space. It also has a different engine, a turbocharged four-cylinder that provides more horsepower and torque.

Correction: An earlier version of this story misstated the last time that the Spider was sold in the U.S.

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