Posts Tagged ‘alfa’

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?

View Poll

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.


Mazda and Fiat to co-develop a roadster based on next-gen MX-5 Miata

Published by Mazda Blogs on May 23rd, 2012

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2012 Mazda MX-5 Miata

The next-generation Mazda MX-5 Miata will have a sibling, but it won’t be a Mazda, it will be an Alfa Romeo. The Japanese automaker has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Alfa parent Fiat to co-develop a roadster based on the MX-5 platform that is expected to see production in Mazda’s Hiroshima factory, with the Alfa version coming in 2015.

Pegged as “a successor to the MX-5,” the production date will push the next-gen Miata’s arrival back a bit. In 2010 it was predicted we’d see the new Miata this year, with its 2,200-pound weight target, 50/50 weight distribution and potential twin-backbone chassis structure. Obviously that isn’t happening.

Whenever the new model and its Alfa mate do come, each brand will get “differentiated, distinctly styled, iconic and brand-specific light weight roadsters featuring rear-wheel drive,” using in-house engines provided by their own brands.

The link-up is excellent news for Mazda, the small, independent company searching for just these kinds of “technology and product development alliances” to help rescue it from years of losses, and supporting CEO Takashi Yamanouchi’s assertion that it’s “partner or die.” The negotiations also include further cooperation between the two brands in Europe.

Fiat head Sergio Marchionne’s search for partnerships to provide scale is no secret, nor his desire to improve Fiat’s position in Asia, which Mazda might also be able to assist with. And the idea of a properly sporting Alfa would be welcome round the world; with the loss of the Brera GT and Brera Spider in 2010, the Alfa line is down to two hatchbacks and a long-in-the-tooth sedan, none of them particularly sporty. With the 8C Spider beyond most budgets and the 4C still living in the ether, it’s been almost 20 years since the then 33-year-old Alfa Spider represented (or was meant to, at least) the kind of purposeful, two-seater Alfa being announced here.

The final agreement should be finalized later this year, and you can scroll down to read the press release.

Continue reading Mazda and Fiat to co-develop a roadster based on next-gen MX-5 Miata

Mazda and Fiat to co-develop a roadster based on next-gen MX-5 Miata originally appeared on Autoblog on Wed, 23 May 2012 09:27:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.


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