Fiat and Mazda announced they have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for the development and manufacturing of a new roadster. What that means in plain English is that Fiat is buying the next-generation MX-5 rear-wheel-drive architecture for the next-generation Alfa Romeo Spider. MX-5’s fantastic chassis, plus Alfa Romeo design, joy of joys!
The new Alfa Spider will only use Mazda’s rear-drive chassis though. The engines that power these roadsters will be unique to each brand. But they both will have an iconic design with a light weight body.
It doesn’t say so in the press release, but we have a sneaking suspicion while Mazda is helping with the dynamics, Alfa will give them a hand in designing the new MX-5. With this plan both parties will solve their problems efficiently. The last Alfa Spider looked awesome, but it was heavy and dimwitted. On the other hand the MX-5 has always been fantastic to drive, but not exactly a looker.
This is great news for the fans of proper sports cars. Too bad the new Alfa won’t launch until 2015.
“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 MX-5, which is such an iconic vehicle for Mazda and recognized as the best-selling roadster of all time.” said Takashi Yamanouchi, Mazda’s Representative Director and Chairman of the Board, President and CEO.
“This agreement clearly demonstrates our commitment to Alfa Romeo and the determination to grow it into a truly global brand. 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.” said Fiat CEO Sergio Marchionne.