Artist's impression of the 2014 Mazda MX-5. Source: Automedia.
The Fiat Group and Mazda Motor Corporation have announced the finalization of an agreement that will see the two companies co-develop a pair of compact two seat roadsters planned for sale in Australia from 2015 onwards.
The agreement, limited details to which were first revealed early last year, will see two uniquely styled roadsters in the form of the fourth-generation Mazda MX-5 and a modern day interpretation of the classic Alfa Romeo Spider share a common rear-wheel drive platform structure as well as key chassis components and electronic architecture.
Each of the new roadsters will be powered by what the agreement describes as specific proprietary engines: the MX-5 will receive Mazda’s latest four-cylinder SkyActiv petrol engine of as yet unspecified capacity, with the Spider set to offer a uniquely tuned version of the four-cylinder unit used in the Giulietta hatchback.
Both the new Mazda and Alfa Romeo will be produced at the former’s Hiroshima-based manufacturing in Japan.
Mazda says the agreement, which automotive industry analysts suggest may be used as the springboard for a broader platform sharing deal encompassing higher volume models, provides added economies of scale and production efficiency.
For the Fiat Group, the deal allows it to resurrect one of Alfa Romeo’s most memorable models at a fraction of the cost it would have required had it been forced to fund development of the new roadster on its own.