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Mazda and Fiat finalize deal for Alfa roadster, next-gen MX-5 Miata

Posted Jan 18th 2013 1:31PM

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Mazda and Alfa Romeo logos

Although a little bit later than expected, Mazda and Fiat have signed a final agreement that will bring a next-generation MX-5 Miata to the Japanese automaker and a new roadster to Alfa Romeo. When the proposed arrangement was announced back in May, the two automakers had hoped to seal the deal last year, but it doesn't appear that the production timeline for these cars has slipped any, with both expected to start rolling off assembly lines in 2015.

Other than a shared chassis with a rear-wheel-drive layout, it sounds like the two cars are still planned to be distinct in their own ways from their styling right down to their engines. Mazda will produce both cars at a plant in Hiroshima, Japan, but it isn't clear what role each automaker will play in the cars' developmental process. The big question, of course, is what clever portmanteau name we can come up with, like Toyobaru. Mazda Romeo is the easy choice, but Alfazda might roll off the tongue a little better.

Scroll down for a brief press release from both automakers.

Mazda and Fiat Sign Agreement for New Alfa Romeo Roadster

Further to the joint announcement of May 23, 2012, Mazda Motor Corporation (Mazda) and Fiat Group Automobiles S.p.A. (Fiat) announced today the signing of the Final Agreement which will see Mazda produce an open-top two-seater sports car for Fiat's Alfa Romeo brand at its Hiroshima, Japan, plant starting from 2015.

The new Alfa Romeo roadster will be developed for the global market, and will be based on the architecture of the next generation Mazda MX-5. The agreement foresees for both Mazda and Fiat to develop two differentiated, distinctly styled, iconic and brand-specific roadsters featuring rear-wheel drive. The Mazda and Alfa Romeo variants will each be powered by specific proprietary engines unique to each brand.

Through this contractual agreement, Mazda aims to enhance development and production efficiency and revitalize enthusiasm for open-top two-seater sports cars around the world. For Fiat, this collaboration will permit the company to deliver a modern interpretation of the classic Alfa Romeo roadster utilizing the latest technical solutions, helping Alfa Romeo to achieve its stated goals by 2016.

Turin/Hiroshima, January 18, 2013

Related Gallery2013 Mazda MX-5 Miata Club: First Spin





2012 Mazda MX-5 Miata Overview

News Source: Fiat, Mazda

Image Credit: Gallery images copyright 2012 Jeffrey Ross / AOL

Category: Convertible, Coupe, Mazda, Fiat, Alfa Romeo, Plants/Manufacturing, Performance

Tags: alfa romeo, fiat, mazda, mazda fiat joint venture, mx-5 miata

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2 Comments

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Jason Pase

MAZDOMEO !

That rolls of the tongue 17 times easier than "Alfazda" and is easily more recognizable as a joint project between Mazda and Alfa Romeo.

January 18 2013 at 4:24 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
hemusbull

As long as Alfa isn\'t a Alfiat, there can\'t be any combination of both names...and images like Alfa roadster and Mazda Miata. These are two absolutely distinctbrands even within their own respective masters. Don\'t mix economi necessity with image, please!

January 18 2013 at 2:01 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply