Having signed a non-binding Memorandum of Understanding, the Japanese and Italian automakers have agreed to examine the development and manufacturing of a roadster model for the Alfa Romeo brand based on Mazda’s upcoming next-generation MX-5 Miata platform.
Distinguishing the two machines won’t just be the unique styling but, but also engines unique to each brand.
According to a joint release, production of both vehicles would occur at Mazda’s Hiroshima plant starting in 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.
The partnership will also allow Mazda to take advantage of economies of scale, helping reduce its costs in building the Miata.
“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.
With the new Miata-based roadster, Alfa Romeo will have another exciting new product to offer when it returns to the North American market.