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Think the 2017 Fiat 124 Was the First Turbo Spider With Key Japanese Content? Think Again

Just how original is Fiat's 2017 model 124 Spider after all?

The 2017 Fiat 124 Spider is a turbocharged convertible with an important Japanese contribution. So too was the early '80s Fiat Spider 2000 Turbo. The Spider Turbo was a U.S.-only car that had a Japanese turbocharger that increased power by about 20%. It was created by Legend and Fiat USA and about 700 were built.

There are surviving Fiat 2000 Turbos. Hemmings has a 1981 model for sale in mind condition for $13,500.

In 1982 Motorweek tested the Fiat Spider 2000 Turbo and found it to be very quick for the times. It set a new Motorweek testing record for 40-55 MPH passing and ran from 0-62 MPH in 8.6 seconds. For some perspective, consider that lists the 1982 Corvette as needing 9.1 seconds to go from 0-60 MPH. Motorweek found the turbo power smooth as well with no punchy lag.
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Owners of the 2017 Fiat 124 Spider know that the roof can be raised or lowered easily by the driver while seated in the car. Watch John Davis of Motorweek do the same in 1982 in our video below. Big strides have been made in the ergonomics of the Spider over the years. However, two big features the old spider had that the new one does not have were a spare tire and a small rear seat.