Wednesday, 9 December 2015

Forget Bugatti - the Fiat 124 Spider is what I'm looking forward to

IT’S ironic that 50 years after the national speed limit was introduced spy shots have emerged online of what’s likely to be the world’s fastest production car.

The Bugatti Chiron – bet on it being one of the stars at next March's Geneva motor show – will pick up where the Veyron left off by going even faster. Which means 267mph – more than twice what a Fiesta EcoBoost will do and nearly four times of our motorway limit – is its starting point.

This is the point where you’re probably about to ask the question I get punted at least four times a year – why, if we’re only allowed to do 70mph, are cars like the Chiron even allowed to exist?

I’ve no clever answer other than to point out that all manner of devices capable of causing chaos if they’re misused – kitchen knives, angle grinders, Porsche 911s and so on – are used on a daily basis by reasonable people capable of using them without getting carried away. The Chiron has as much right to trundle up the A59 as your grandad’s Triumph Herald does.

So you’re allowed to drive it – but using it as an instrument of driving enjoyment in Cameron's Britain is a bit like hiring U2 to do the entertainment at your mate’s birthday. Spectacular, but a bit much.

Anyone who really appreciates driving will know powering along a straight isn’t the fun bit – it’s the corners, where light weight, supple suspension and talkative steering count for far more than simply going fast. Which is why the Fiat 124 Spider has me more far more excited than anything Bugatti can come up with.

For starters it’s good to see Fiat’s finally realised it can make models that don’t crib off the 500 – having made its city car into a seven-seater MPV, I was half-expecting a Fiat 500-based amphibious fire engine rather than a sports car. It’s also based on the Mazda MX-5 so the 124 Spider should be a corker to drive, and with styling that’s a bit more chic than the Japanese car.

Doing a million miles an hour isn’t the point – the Fiat 124 Spider is supposed to be fun doing entirely legal speeds, which has got to be a good thing for a nation obsessed with speed cameras.

I’ve no problem with stealth bombers on wheels being used (sensibly) on Her Majesty’s highways – but I’d have a 124 Spider, money no object, over a Chiron any day.


  1. I love the design and frame work on this car. I'll have to check out more pics and features that this car has on Fiat's website. I am very surprised that Fiat put out a car in the market to something of this caliber. Beautiful!

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