Fiat and Mazda have signed the final agreement that will allow Mazda to build an open top two seater rear-wheel drive sports car for Fiat’s evocative Alfa Romeo brand
The affordable performance car is making a global comeback. And car makers across the board are looking to capitalise on the situation, the latest ones being Fiat, Mazda and Alfa Romeo.
Fiat and Mazda have signed the final agreement that will allow Mazda to build an open top two seater rear-wheel drive sports car for Fiat’s evocative Alfa Romeo brand.
Mazda will be building the new sports car on its next generation MX-5 platform at its Hiroshima facility in Japan. Production of the sports car is expected to begin by 2015.
The new Mazda roadster will be sold as differentiated vehicles by both Mazda and Alfa Romeo. The differences will be limited to performance, styling and brand specific enhancements. What the two cars will have in common will be the basic structural architecture and the rear-wheel drive system.
The Alfa Romeo and Mazda versions will be powered by engines owned by the respective brands. This also means the gearbox, brakes and suspension may differ according to power output of the engines.
The Mazda MX-5 is one of the most successful roadsters of all time and with the new car Mazda aims to add a fresh dose of adrenalin to the open top two seater rear-wheel drive sports car.
Looking back at the three car makers two seater sports car line-up, Fiat had the Barchetta two-seater front-wheel drive sports car whose production ended in 2005, Mazda’s MX-5 now in its third generation is the only one still on sale while Alfa Romeo’s two seater rear-wheel drive sports car, the Spider, went out of production in 1993.
Fiat, Mazda and Alfa Romeo are not the only car makers cashing into the affordable sports car market. Toyota and Subaru have already done so with the GT-86 and BRZ respectively. Toyota has now confirmed that it is going to build an open top version of the GT-86.
As for the Japanese Italian venture, the Alfa Romeo is likely to be priced higher than its Mazda counterpart due to the brand value, performance, cosmetic enhancements and equipment list.
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