MX5 and Alfa Romeo Roadster Alliance

MX5 Next Generation Concept

Mazda and Fiat have announced a new deal to develop future sports cars jointly. A new affordable Alfa Romeo roadster will be built alongside the next generation MX5 at Mazda’s Hiroshima plant from 2015. The memorandum of understanding covers the development and manufacturing of a new roadster for the Mazda and Alfa Romeo marques based on Mazda’s next-generation MX5 rear-wheel-drive architecture.
The statement said: ‘The study calls for both Mazda and Fiat to develop two differentiated, distinctly styled, iconic and brand-specific light weight, roadsters featuring rear-wheel drive. The Mazda and Alfa Romeo variants will each be powered by specific proprietary engines unique to each brand.
The Alfa Romeo will be a simple, no-frills sports car in the mould of the MX5. Rear-wheel drive is guaranteed and the roadster will benefit from Mazda’s SkyActiv programme of weight-saving and fuel-sipping technology, so it should be lightweight and responsive in the best MX5 tradition. The agreement will be finalised in the second half of 2012 and this could be the precursor to numerous joint initiatives in Europe. Both companies said they were willing to discuss further cooperation as they seek to increase sales volume and efficiency.

Alfa Romeo Spider Concept

“‘This agreement clearly demonstrates our commitment to Alfa Romeo and the determination to grow it into a truly global brand,’ said Fiat CEO Sergio Marchionne. ‘By partnering with Mazda, we will be co-operating with the recognized leader in compact rear-drive vehicle architectures in order to deliver an exciting and stylish roadster in the Alfa Romeo tradition. We are appreciative of this collaboration with Mazda and look forward to maintaining a fruitful and continuous relationship.’
Mazda top brass are similarly glowing about the new Italian-Japanese relationship. Takashi Yamanouchi, Mazda’s president and CEO, said: ‘Establishing technology and product development alliances is one of Mazda’s corporate objectives and this announcement with Fiat is an important first step in that direction. ‘It is especially exciting to be collaborating with such a prestigious marque as Alfa Romeo on a new roadster based on the next-generation MX5, which is such an iconic vehicle for Mazda and the best-selling roadster of all time.’

See what those old blokes at Top Gear think about this move by clicking on the logo:


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