Posts Tagged ‘alfa-romeo’

Fiat reconsidering Mazda-based Alfa Romeo roadster? [w/poll]

Published by Mazda Blogs on March 3rd, 2014

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Alfa Romeo 2uettottanta by Pininfarina

Alfa giveth and Alfa taketh away. With apologies to Job (he has gone through a lot, after all), that’s how things are looking at the Italian automaker – whether it’s the promise of new products or its impending return to the North American market. But it’s especially true when it comes to new roadsters.

While Alfa Romeo is expected to unveil the 4C Spider at the Geneva Motor Show this week, reports are now suggesting that its other roadster project is being called into question. That project is a joint venture between Fiat and Mazda, which was set to produce a version of its next MX-5 Miata as an Alfa Romeo, and was even changing the design to accommodate Alfa’s requirements.

Now it appears, however, that the whole project in doubt. The problem seems to stem from Sergio Marchionne’s pronouncements that, as long as he’s in charge, there won’t be an Alfa Romeo built outside of Italy.

The principal poses some problems, but also leaves some windows open. For one, it could mean that the Alfa project would be postponed until after Marchionne retires, but that’s not expected to happen any time soon. For another, it could mean that the Alfa roadster would be developed by Mazda and based on its architecture, but assembled back in Italy – although the deal is said to call for Mazda to do the manufacturing. The prospect that our colleagues at at Automotive News Europe are betting on, however, is that Marchionne will switch its commitment to Mazda to another brand.

Eliminating Ferrari, Maserati and Lancia as possibilities, ANE figures the project could be transferred to either Fiat or the Abarth performance brand. Bertone’s Fiat Barchetta concept looked promising in 2007, and Abarth was long rumored to get its own roadster – and both manufacture outside of Italy as it is. But for that matter, we wonder why – with Fiat and Chrysler now under the same umbrella – it couldn’t be done instead as a Dodge or SRT. The Copperhead concept of 1997 and the Demon of 2008 did show some promise, after all. What do you think?

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Fiat reconsidering Mazda-based Alfa Romeo roadster? [w/poll] originally appeared on Autoblog on Mon, 03 Mar 2014 10:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Next Mazda MX-5 Miata headed for 2015 Chicago debut

Published by Mazda Blogs on January 17th, 2014

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20 Years of Mazda Miatas at the 2009 Chicago Auto Show

Twenty-six years after it was introduced at the 1989 Chicago Auto Show, the much anticipated fourth generation Mazda MX-5 Miata will meet the press at the 2015 Chicago show. A piece in Autocar refines some of the details on the larger, lighter Miata that a Mazda insider has said will be “our best-looking car ever.”

The company has relented on the quest for the metric tonne, the 1000-kilogram (2,200-pound) target too difficult to achieve in light of cost constraints. You can still expect it to lose a generous dollop of weight – Autocar says a curb weight of 1,100 kg (2,420 pounds) will still make it the lightest in its class. And Mazda will be stressing a fun driving experience through light weight and a modest amount of naturally-aspirated horsepower. Engine capacities of 1.5 and 2.0 liters are expected. Sounds familiar (and good), right?

The Miata’s interpretation of Kodo design will be veer from that found on the Mazda3 and Mazda6, with “very clean and simple” lines marking out “more muscular proportions” and elongated bodywork on a longer wheelbase. A stretched engine bay will make room for the current Skyactiv engine and perhaps the future Skyactiv 2 powerplants, initial reports suggesting there could be a 30-percent increase in fuel economy from the moment it arrives.

Two flavors of top-down operation will continue, those being the soft- and folding metal hardtop. That next iteration of the hardtop will lose weight and take up less space, making for a bigger bit of space in the trunk. The next Miata will go on sale in 2015, supposedly joined at some point by the Alfa Romeo brother it will share a platform with.

Next Mazda MX-5 Miata headed for 2015 Chicago debut originally appeared on Autoblog on Fri, 17 Jan 2014 15:45:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Next Mazda MX-5 Miata to get Mini-like levels of customization

Published by Mazda Blogs on August 28th, 2012

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2013 Mazda MX-5 Roadster (aka Miata) - JDM

Much is expected of the next-generation Mazda MX-5 Miata, primarily significant weight savings and a bit more power. The new roadster will be co-developed with Alfa Romeo as part of a joint-venture agreed upon last May. A report in What Car? suggests that that Mazda’s benefits won’t be limited to the hard bits, claiming that personalization possibilities for the new car will be “similar” to those of the Mini Cooper and Fiat 500. The stated aim is for additional customization is “to help a customer’s relationship with the car,” but on a more basic level, they are popular within the segment. And depending on how Mazda structures pricing, it can fatten up the profit margin significantly.

The date of arrival is predicted to be 2015, and What Car? says the coming roadster should be around 220 pounds lighter than the current model, weighing in at 2,200 pounds. True, that isn’t the 700-pound drop engineers were aiming for, but it’s not small beer on such a tiny car. Power is said to come from a 1.3-liter turbocharged four-cylinder good for 200 horsepower which would represent a 33-horsepower bump over the 2012 to propel a lighter, stiffer car. Sign us up.

Next Mazda MX-5 Miata to get Mini-like levels of customization originally appeared on Autoblog on Tue, 28 Aug 2012 11:32:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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