Roadster Salon specializes in restoring and enhancing the classic Fiat 124, but with the Spider America EV, it went further and installed an all-electric driveline into the classic Italian drop-top. It’s not cheap, but it has a lot going for it and for the right kind of buyer, it will seem justified considering what you’re getting.
So what are you getting for the $139,995 asking price? Well, a fully-restored Fiat 124 that has a strengthened shell, better suspension and more powerful brakes, as well as dual electric motor setup (courtesy of Electric GT) that delivers almost 200 horsepower and 200 pound-feet (271 Nm) of torque. Unlike most EVs you can buy right now, though, this one comes with a manual five-speed transmission that makes it stand out.
For those buyers who don’t want to row their own, though, the Spider America EV has town and highway modes; these make it behave like a regular automatic.
Performance is pretty good (a lot better than that of the original), with a claimed naught to sixty time of around six seconds and a top speed of 130 mph (210 km/h). Regarding its range, Roadster Salon doesn’t put out the exact number; all it says is the Spider America has a longer range than that of the Fiat 500e, a model rated at just 87 miles (140 km).
Gallery: Roadster Salon Spider America EV
The company also offers a cheaper Junior version of the same car. It has a single electric motor is therefore less powerful. Its claimed sprint time is around the 7 seconds mark, but other than that it promises to offer the same package as the more expensive option, including the well-appointed, leather clad interior; the Junior has a starting price of $89,995.
Final specs have not yet been announced, and they don’t plan on making too many of these. The press release put out by Roadster Salon says they will only build 20 examples, although it’s not clear if this includes both versions.
Roadster Salon's First All-Electric Spider America Now Ready for Production
BARRINGTON, Ill., Jan. 16, 2020 -- Based on the beloved classic Fiat 124 convertible, The Spider America EV is the ultimate expression of Roadster Salon technology and craftsmanship. As seen in the Robb Report, https://robbreport.com/motors/cars/roadster-salone-1983-fiat-pininfarina-spider-america-ev-conversion-2891819/.
The Spider America is also the first custom EV on the market to feature a manual transmission. Due to the prodigious torque on tap, the car can be driven as a standard manual with clutch, or simply put in town or highway drive mode—and enjoyed like a conventional automatic. Performance is nothing short of "electrifying". Assisted by their trade partner in California, Electric GT—a special proprietary drive line was developed just for Roadster Salon.
Initially two EV versions of the Spider will be offered in addition to their gas driven models. Roadster's flagship creation The Spider America EV, http://roadstersalon.com/models/spider-corsa-evoluzione/.
- A powerful twin motor drive unit with over 200 ft lbs of torque and nearly 200HP.*
- Ultra-light EV with excellent handling and weight balance
- Luxurious, artisan crafted interiors that harken vintage offerings from Maserati, and Ferrari-- featuring hand-stitched full leather with burled walnut accents.
- Braking and handling improvements enhanced by Roadster Salon's proprietary steering, chassis and structural upgrades.
- Roadster Salon EV models are built on a separate production line, to the highest possible standards.
- One-year warranty and two-year service contract included with all EV models
Priced from $139,995, the loaded Spider America options list is limited but performance is not. Zero to sixty flies by in approximately six seconds--or half the time of a standard spider. For those who dare, a top speed of over 130MPH can be achieved quickly and with ease. Range is better than Fiat's own electric model, the 500e.
In keeping with Italian tradition, a less costly "Junior" version is also available. Based on Roadster Salon's popular Lusso S2, the EV Jr http://roadstersalon.com/models/ev-jr/ uses a single electric motor and a simplified battery package. Capable of acceleration around 7 seconds to 60 mph, "the Jr" has more than enough power and range to make a Sunday cruise entertaining and worry free. The EV Junior base price is $89,995.
A limited number of reservations for 2020 production are now being offered to the public for the Spider America EV and Junior. Refundable $5000 reservations are now being accepted. Roadster promises to provide customers with a firm build date within 90 days of the reservation. Once the build is finalized, a more substantial deposit is required. See their website at www.roadstersalon.com for details or call 847.769.7880 to reserve your Italian work of art. Only a limited number of production slots for 2020 are still available, with 20 exclusive units planned. Each Spider EV will have signed and numbered commemorative plates.
*final specifications still being determined at release date
About Roadster Salon
Roadster Salon has passionately restored and modified classic Italian Convertibles for nearly 20 years. Their goal is to retain the Spider's timeless beauty while enhancing the driving experience. To do so, Roadster replaces stock parts with modern components and improves build quality. The finished product is a contemporary classic that meets the challenges of today's roads without compromising the personality of the original. Whether gas or electric, their bottom line is fun. Quick and reliable, Roadster Salon's convertibles provide a dose of exclusivity, nostalgia and craftsmanship that's difficult to match in a production sports car. Ask Roadster about building a custom spider just for you!