The body is in Japan, but the heart is in Italy

https://i0.wp.com/cdn.autofreaks.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/11/2017_Fiat_124_Spider-30.jpg
Fiat 124 Spider for 2016 front quarter view

We usually thought cars were made in one place, do we? At least the parts are made and assembled in the same country. Well, it is not necessary the case.

Here’s the Fiat 124 Spider for 2016, the modern resurrection of Fiat 124 Spider produced between 1966 to 1985.

While the original ones were made in Italy, by the Italians, this modern iteration of the car is rather unique for it’s assembly process.

The original Fiat 124 Spider (1966-1985)

It shared it’s underpinnings with the new fourth generation Mazda MX-5 or usually petrol-heads referred to ND MX-5 (the first one was NA, I think you all know how the code-naming goes).

https://i1.wp.com/image.automobilemag.com/f/101977583+w1000+h667+q80+re0/2016-mazda-mx-5-club-front-three-quarter-in-motion.jpg
Mazda MX-5 (also known as ND MX-5)

They looks largely different from each other, at least on the outside.

Ok, now, while the Mazda was assembled in Japan entirely, the Fiat is not.

It’s engine had to travel halfway across the world to Japan to be married to the body.

Yes, in Malaysia, we had local cars made in our own country but sometimes the engine or gearbox had to be imported from somewhere else, but, mostly it will be for local consumption or exported to the neighboring countries.

Other than the people involved, only God knows how the heck the engines are being transported from the Italy to Japan. Either by ship or through the Silk Roads, I don’t know. The amazing thing about it is how did they manage to do that? And why all the trouble?

https://i1.wp.com/cdn.autofreaks.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/11/2017_Fiat_124_Spider-31.jpg

https://i0.wp.com/mx5-sa.com.au/wp-content/uploads/ND-MX-5-rear.png
Look how different they are from each other

This unique collaboration between the Italians and the Japanese cuts a lot of development costs in these two companies. The results; Mazda will have a refreshed, all-time favorite MX-5 and Fiat will have their own modern day roadster reminiscent of the original ones.

They’ll keep both brand’s enthusiast happy, too!

But both companies has different philosophies of a roadster. One purely European and the other, Japanese. One focused on big power engines and the other on the fun factor and tradition. Considering Mazda is very different from the other Japanese car-makers, this is expected.

Plus, to ease manufacturing and lower costs down, both of the cars bodies are made and put together in Japan. Fiat benefits from the Japanese built quality, albeit only for the body. Not sure about the engine, though.

Italian-Japanese car-making collaboration had never worked so much before. The Alfa Romeo Arna was a rebadged Nissan. It was supposed to revive Alfa Romeo sales, but, you guessed, it’s failed. It should never worked, just look at it.

https://i2.wp.com/petrolblog.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/11/arna-brochure.jpg
Magic? Sure, it’s soul magically disappeared, so thus it’s sales figure

Hopefully, the collaboration is a success this time. By looks of things, it surely will.

Fiat and Mazda also shared much of the interior bits.

https://i0.wp.com/cdn.autofreaks.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/11/2017_Fiat_124_Spider-32.jpg

https://i0.wp.com/ineptechs.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/04/Launch-Edition-ND-Miata.jpeg
Almost the same. Can you tell which one is which?
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