Fiat balances fun and practicality with new 124 Spider and Tipo

Fiat's new 124 Spider looks set to bring the world of open-top motoring to a new generation.

Fusing classic Italian styling and an authentic roadster driving experience, this sleek convertible draws on the proud heritage of its 1960s namesake while bringing the whole package right up to date. Unveiled in Europe at the 2016 Geneva Motor Show, this rear-wheel drive soft-top features a long wheelbase, athletic lines, bold 'floating' tail lamps and a host of technology features that guarantee maximum engagement.

The 124 Spider has been designed for those long summer days and thanks to a fuss-free opening and closing mechanism, the car's soft top can be lowered by hand in a matter of seconds. Leave the roof up and you'll enjoy an impressively quiet ride as Fiat has strived to reduce cabin noise through the use of an acoustic front windshield, thickened rear glass and an insulated instrument panel.

Opt for the Classica trim to enjoy daytime running lights, 16-inch alloys, and leather interior features, or the Lusso model for extras such as heated leather sports seats and dual zone automatic temperature control. Lusso trim versions also swap the Spider's manual transmission for a six-speed automatic setup. A seven-inch TFT screen displays important driver information, while Bluetooth connectivity and satellite navigation are also available, along with driver assistance systems such as blind spot monitoring.

Get behind the wheel and you'll soon understand why such importance is placed on 50/50 weight distribution. The new Fiat 124 Spider is light and nimble – a joy to drive thanks to its punchy 1.4-litre turbo-charged engine. Reach 62mph from a standing start in just 7.5 seconds, before pushing through to a top speed of 134mph.

There's no denying that the Fiat 124 Spider is focused on fun, not practicality, which is where Fiat's new Tipo hatchback and estate models step in.Spacious, practical and representing excellent value for money, the new Tipo has rivals like the ŠKODA Rapid and the Ford Focus firmly in its sights.

In terms of looks, the Tipo boasts athletic contours and a sloping roofline, giving it a rather sporty feel. The interior offers class-leading legroom and outstanding headroom, ensuring an enjoyable journey for everyone. Highly practical, the hatchback offers 440 litres of boot space, while the estate version increases that to 550 litres. Flip-and-fold 60/40-split rear seats and a completely flat load floor guarantee total flexibility.

Five engines will be available across the Tipo line-up, two diesel and three petrol, along with automatic and dual-clutch transmissions. Full details of the range are yet to be confirmed, but all versions will come with air conditioning, rear electric windows (estate only), six airbags, DAB radio and Bluetooth connectivity.

You can get more information on both the Fiat 124 Spider and the new Fiat Tipo by contacting a member of the team at Thames Motor Group today.