2017 Fiat Spider - Performance Chops
The new 2017 Fiat 124 Spider is a great car. It is not only great as a grand touring and weekend getaway car in all of its configurations, we took it on-track in the Abarth version and found it to be a blast on a racetrack as well. The Spider has great brakes, handles well by any measure and it is fun to drive in every setting.
Since handling is so subjective, it is impossible to name one car "better" than the other. Sure, we could look at skidpad data and give one the edge. Except that in street cars like these sliding is fun, so why would one that has a minor advantage over another be "better?"
With the Spider Abarth's 184 hp compared to the 178 hp of the 2004 MazdaSpeed Miata, the matchup looks to be close.
NB MazdaSpeed Miata Performance
In 2004 Mazda gave Car and Driver an early version of the MazdaSpeeed Miata and asked them politely not to break it. Car and Driver listened and then recorded a 0-60 MPH blast of 6.7 seconds without trying hard. So the matchup between the NB MazdaSpeed Miata and 2017 Fiat 124 Spider Abarth is a tie, right? Not so fast. We feel it is only fair to tell our readers that MotorWeek tested the MazdaSpeed Miata with no restrictions and logged a 7.1 second 0-60 MPH time. MotorWeek tends to have the slower times among all the major publications that do instrument testing, but still, a data point from them is more than valid.
Conclusion - MazdaSpeed Miata vs. Fiat 124 Spider Abarth
Our conclusion from looking at the instrument testing available and closely reading the historic data on the MazdaSpeed Miata is that it can run with the new 2017 Fiat 124 Spider Abarth. However, since we have multiple data points showing the Fiat tied or slightly beating the MazdaSpeed Miata, we will have to give the Fiat Spider Abarth the win in this matchup by the slimmest of margins.