From The Next Generation MX-5, Mazda Will Produce An Alfa Romeo Roadster
|   Friday, January 25, 2013
Fiat announced the initialling of the agreement with Japan's Mazda, negotiations with which started officially last summer. The fruit of the understanding between the two manufacturers will be the banner of a new Alfa Romeo roadster derived from the next generation of the Mazda MX-5.

Expected on the market in 2015, the two models will be assembled in the same place, the Mazda plant in Hiroshima, Japan, and will share the same technical architecture with rear wheel drive.
Similarities stop, however, here. Both roadsters will address different design philosophies, reflected by the style or design language used by each of the two manufacturers. In addition, a clearer delineation of the two models will be seen and the engines will also be completely different.

The new roadster will join the upcoming Alfa Romeo Giulia 4C and the global model range designed to bring the Italian brand on par with the eternal German premium class rivals in the struggle for supremacy. The Alfa Romeo will return to the North American market this year, after a long absence. A roadster model is essential for shaping the image of sporting pretensions premium manufacturer. Sergio Marchionne, CEO of Fiat, intends to regain brand profitability in the next three years.

Now, the agreement signed by the two companies involves the development of a platform by the Japanese to be used in the company to revive the legendary Fiat Spider model. Both cars, will benefit from this platform will be manufactured at Mazda plant in Hiroshima since 2015, as already mentioned.

Using the know-how acquired by the Japanese from the MX-5 model, the Alfa Romeo Spider will prepare a new model, which will benefit from a dynamic and sporty MX-5, and will have under the hood Fiat engines. Of course, the seductive lines specific to Italian brands will also be there.
On the other hand, the Mazda MX-5 will continue the tradition, and will mark the emergence of a new generation of small Japanese roadsters. It will meet the required design philosophy and will boast Mazda engines manufactured in the Land of the Rising Sun.

The benefits of this agreement will be obvious to both manufacturers: Mazda hopes to revitalize the small sports car market, while increasing production efficiency, while Alfa Romeo aims to return to power on the market with a model of legendary status.

Alfa can easily dip into the Fiat parts-bin and install the highly entertaining and turbocharged 1.4-liter MultiAir 4-cylinder into the engine bay for the Spyder. A choice of 6-speed manual or 6-speed automatic equipped with paddle-shifters should be available in either vehicle. Expect Mazda to try to place pricing as close as possible to the current Miata's base price of approximately 25,000 dollars. Expect the Alfa price tag however to fall closer to 30,000 dollars.

Mazda has been searching for a new business ally since the capital affiliation with its former top shareholder, Ford Motor Co., has been weakening. Fiat meanwhile wants to take advantage of the tieup with Mazda to make bigger inroads into the Asian market.

Last year was not a good one for Alfa Romeo. In Europe, the company's sales fell 31% with just 86,858 cars delivered, down significantly from the 125,924 units sold in 2011.
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