New Alfa Romeo to be based on Mazda MX-5Fiat and Mazda to co-develop new Alfa roadster

28 May 2012

01 Mazda MX5

Alfa Romeo will develop a roadster based on the next-generation Mazda MX-5

Alfa Romeo parent company Fiat has confirmed that Alfa will develop a new two-seat roadster based on Mazda’s next-generation MX-5.

Alfa Romeo roadster

The agreement to co-develop a new open-top sports car will see Alfa Romeo return to the rear-wheel-drive roadster market.

The arrangement between Fiat and Mazda is currently non-binding, but the understanding will see both marques develop cars that are ‘clearly differentiated in terms of design’, according to a statement from both companies.

Different engines

The two cars will be powered by different engines, unique to the individual brand. That means the Mazda variant is likely to get a retuned version of the current MX-5’s 160bhp 2.0-litre four-cylinder engine.

Alfa Romeo’s offering could get its 1.75-litre turbocharged petrol unit, as seen in the firm’s 4C concept car. It is not yet confirmed whether the new car will have a folding metal roof or a more conventional fabric hood.

02 Alfa Romeo 4C

The Alfa Romeo 4C concept was unveiled at last year's Geneva Motor Show

Technology sharing

The agreement between Mazda and Alfa Romeo should provide other opportunities for cooperation in the Japanese and European markets. Fiat does not have a strong presence in Japan, while Mazda is now a smaller force in Europe since its separation from Ford. 

Mazda has not confirmed a production date for its next-generation MX-5. The new car is expected to debut in 2014, while Alfa Romeo has said it intends to begin production of its version in 2015.

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