There’s a problem with Fiat’s new roadster, the Mazda-based 124 Spider. And that problem is that the new MX-5 Miata was unveiled first. Taken on its own the new 124 Spider isn’t a bad-looking car — it’s got good proportions, and from the right angle (the forward three-quarters) you can see parallels with the original roadster from the 1960s. But when parked next to a Miata, which is a flawless example of automotive styling, the 124 Spider just looks wrong.
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The big eyes don’t help. Those three-element LED ring-style running lights set into scalloped openings are meant to harken back to the Pininfarina-designed “baby Ferrari” look of the original, but they look a little cartoonish and forced. Compared to the low-slung look of the Miata (and yes, there’s just no way around continuing to compare this car with the Miata), it looks wrong.