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Discussion Starter #1
I am getting pretty tired of journalists saying that it's a Miata/MX5. That's just not accurate. If anything the Miata/MX5 is a Fiat 124, here is why.

It's relatively well known that the original Miata's styling was based on the 60's Lotus Elan. However mechanically those two cars couldn't be much more different. The Elan had a backbone chassis and a fiberglass body, the Miata is an all steel unit-body car. The Elan also occupied a totally different spot in the market. They were priced like a Corvette, and not too far below an XKE, nowhere near what you would call an entry level sports car.

It's very clear that in mechanical terms the Miata was very closely based on the original 124. In 1966 the 124 was a low priced sports car with a twin cam 4 cylinder, double wishbone front suspension, a 5 speed transmission and 4 wheel disk brakes. The only other cars to have those features in the 60's were much more expensive. The original Miata's specs are very similar. Mazda added 4 valves per cylinder and updated the rear suspension, but those were to be expected by 1989.

The Miata also took the exact spot in the market that Fiat had abandon in 1985 when the last 124 Spiders were built. (they were called Pininfarina Spiders by then).

So as I see it, the original Miata was an updated Japanese 124. What about this latest model? It was co-designed by Fiat and Mazda. The Mazda version was released first, but that doesn't make the Fiat a Mazda, any more than the Mazda would be a Fiat had they released the new 124 first.

Once people start driving these things I think they will find that the Fiat has a different feel to it and will be the sportier of the two, and will likely be more fun. The new 124 is the successor of the original 124 and not just a dressed up Miata.

Oh, one more thing. For decades it was always pronounced "one twenty four", not " one, two, four". I am not sure if that's a way Fiat is trying to differentiate it from the older cars, or if I just hearing this because journalists don't know any better.

Greg
 

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Sorry Greg, its built in the Mazda Miata plant. Working for an OEM, and how the industry works. Its a Miata

with a face lift and new drivetrain. Don't deny it, don't try to hide it. The Miata has a great track record, and being based off it is a great plus to the reputation of the car for quality.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Nope, the new 124 is very different from the Miata. I think every single body panel is different and the engine is nothing like any engine Mazda ever used. Do they share components? Sure, but if you work for an OEM then you know that's common and doesn't make two cars the same. No journalist says Chargers and Challengers are the same car and are historically way more similar than the 124 and Miata. Are you going to say that the Audi R8 is the same car as a Lamborghini Gallardo? They share way more components as well.

Greg
 

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Also, while other cars do share platforms, I have never seen the press focus on that as they have with the new 124. Almost every single article beats on that one issue ad nauseum. You don't see that with with other shared platform cars, most of which have more in common than the 124 and Miata.

Greg
 

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The BRZ/FRS/GT86 were pretty much the same. Everyone just referred to them all as the 86. Although built in the Subaru factory.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
The BRZ/FRS/GT86 were pretty much the same. Everyone just referred to them all as the 86. Although built in the Subaru factory.
That's because they are the same. They are the same mechanically, and externally they are nearly identical. Other than badging and some snap in trim pieces they are identical. There have been other cars like this, the Toyota Corolla/Geo Prizm twins come to mind.

Every body panel on the 124 is different from the Miata, and the engine is hugely different.

Think of the 60's cars. A 69' Pontiac GTO has the same chassis as an Olds, 442, a Buick GS, and Chevelle SS 396. All four of those cars are clearly different cars although they share the same chassis. I think that's an accurate analogy too, they have different body panels and engines, but share a lot of DNA.

Greg
 

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Greg, this seems to bother you a lot. Let it go. The car is what it is. Why does it matter what others call it. If you like it that's all that matters.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Greg, this seems to bother you a lot. Let it go. The car is what it is. Why does it matter what others call it. If you like it that's all that matters.
Well, if it doesn't matter, why does every media outlet that reports on the car try and drive this point home, when they don't do it with other shared platform cars?

Greg
 

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Well, if it doesn't matter, why does every media outlet that reports on the car try and drive this point home, when they don't do it with other shared platform cars?

Greg
They have in the past often. But other times not as much.

I think a big reason you may see it more. Is most people (myself included) had/have no clue what a Fiat 124 was/is. Lots of people know what a miata is. So by saying its like / is a Miata immediately most people know what your talking about the general size etc. It makes the job of describing the car very very simple. Its a reskinned Miata with a different powertrain. Which is what it sure appears to be. Though know I hear they actually have different seats.

Pretty sure back in the muscle car days, reporters talked about how the Camaro and Firebird were the same car.

To me its a HUGE plus, I get Italian style with Japanese manufacturing. Win win.

You also need to be careful when you say a shared platform. Just because 2 cars share a platform, does not mean they have the same front of dash and floorpan structure (these cars do.) Lots of shared platform cars, when trimmed down to body in white state would not look identical these 2 would.
 

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Well, if it doesn't matter, why does every media outlet that reports on the car try and drive this point home, when they don't do it with other shared platform cars?

Greg
It's only natural for journalists to compare the Fiat to the 4th generation Miata because both cars are made on the same production line. But any journalist commenting that the Fiat is a Miata is simply being ignorant or playing loose with his descriptions. The Fiat is built on the 4th generation Miata chassis, but as you say, external and drivetrain wise, the cars are not identical. Interior wise, they are pretty close to identical. A very casual viewer probably wouldn't even notice the differences. But fans of each car can pick out those differences easily.

I agree with what others have suggested... Let it go. No need to get worked up over ignorant and/or innocent comments from journalists.

Mark
 

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I definitely see where you're coming from and you're not wrong. But I mean, the "journalists" that we have now barely know what they're talking about as majority of them read off of a teleprompter. Majority don't even know how to put driving feelings/emotions into words for that matter
 

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Discussion Starter #12
They have in the past often. But other times not as much.
I have never seen it to this extent and I have been reading automotive magazines for a long time, and internet reviews for as long as they have existed.

Pretty sure back in the muscle car days, reporters talked about how the Camaro and Firebird were the same car.
Perhaps the 3rd and 4th gen cars, because in those generations they were the same car, but not in the 60's. Until 1982 the Camaro and Firebird used different engines and were very different cars. In fact during the 60's you could get the Firebird with a powerful OHC 6 cylinder. That's almost European :)

You also need to be careful when you say a shared platform. Just because 2 cars share a platform, does not mean they have the same front of dash and floorpan structure (these cars do.) Lots of shared platform cars, when trimmed down to body in white state would not look identical these 2 would.
The examples I cited were pretty specific and covered this issue.

Greg
 

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Discussion Starter #13
I definitely see where you're coming from and you're not wrong. But I mean, the "journalists" that we have now barely know what they're talking about as majority of them read off of a teleprompter. Majority don't even know how to put driving feelings/emotions into words for that matter
You got that right! :)

Greg
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Don't mean to add fuel to the fire or anything of the sort. This is solely based out of curiosity. But @Greg , thought's on this article ?

http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2016/06/1981-fiat-2000-spider-one-not-made-japan/
I like the article, but it's written entirely from certain point of view. For example he says it's slow, which it is compared to almost any modern car. But....have you driven an MGB from the same era, or a Truimph Spitfire? For that matter drive a smog era BMW 320i. The old Fiat will seem pretty fast by those standards.

All in all, it's a good article and I enjoyed it, my only complaint is that it fails to give credit where it was due. The classic 124 had a lot of things we now take for granted which were unheard of in a low priced car back in the 60's.

Greg
 

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I actually have gotten the chance to drive a 1974 MGB, extremely slow but it was a great sight to see and experience considering I've never been exposed to them. But I do see what you're saying.

Just for reference and because I like the picture lol, this was the MGB. Gave it a full detail and a quick spray wax as it was going for sale.

 

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Discussion Starter #17 (Edited)
I like the MBG as well. Of course it would be better If you added a double overhead cam engine with 5 main bearings, a fully adjustable double wish bone front suspension, intermittent windshield wipers, a 5 speed transmission, 4 wheel disk brakes and then wrap it in a Pininfarina body.

The MGB was a fun car, so was the Truimph Spitfire, but neither were in the same league as the 124. The 124 established the layout that's in most modern sporty cars. Not the MGB, not the Lotus Elan, and not any other British sports car. You could argue that Alfa Romeo originated this layout, but not in a car that was anywhere near the Fiat's price point. Plus the Alfa had chain drive cams and a combustion chamber design that nobody uses today.

The motoring press totally ignores this. They also ignore the fact that the Fiat 128 established today's common front drive layout with the engine in there sideways with the transaxle off to one side.

Greg
 
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