When buyers can’t afford certain $100,000 sports cars, often the Mazda MX-5 Miata and Fiat 124 Spider show up as much cheaper alternatives that may not be as enthralling but still live up to their promise of fun driving.
Budget sports car shoppers don’t necessarily have to settle for the standard models if they want a little more spice to their purchases.
The Mazda MX-5 has just debuted its targa retractable roof variant called the RF that, though heavier than the standard Miata, is much cooler aesthetically.
Along with the 2017 Fiat 124 Spider is the Abarth 124 Spider that gives more attention to performance elements compared to the regular roadster model, equipped with Bilstein shocks, Brembo brakes, and improved power steering for more vitality on the tarmac.
It is powered by a 1.4L turbo-four bolted to a six-speed stick shift or auto transmission worth 170hp and 184lb-ft torque and does 0-60mph in 6.8 seconds.
Fiat admits that the Spider is slower than the Miata, which does 0-60mph in 5.8 seconds with 155hp and 150lb-ft torque from its 2.0L four-cylinder engine. However, the MX-5 RF is 110lbs heavier than its standard model, which reduces its advantage against the Spider.
Whereas the MX-5 RF adds another $2,000 to the starting price of the standard model at $24,900, the Abarth 214 Spider arrives at €40,000 (about $45,450). There will only be 2,500 units available this year from September onwards.