Fiat signs accord with Mazda to build new Alfa roadster
Pininfarina created the Duettottanta concept for Alfa Romeo in 2010, providing clues about how a new Alfa roadster might look.
MILAN (Reuters) -- Fiat today said it had signed a final agreement with Mazda for the Japanese automaker to build a two-door roadster for Fiat's upscale Alfa Romeo brand.
The two-seat convertible will be based on the next-generation Mazda MX-5/Miata and will be built at Mazda's factory in Hiroshima, Japan, the companies said in a joint statement. Production will start in 2015.
Fiat CEO Sergio Marchionne is overhauling Alfa Romeo with new models in an effort to mimic Volkswagen's success with Audi, which is the German carmaker's main moneymaker. The agreement today finalizes plans the Italian and Japanese companies announced in May.
The agreement paves the way for Mazda to increase its capacity utilization through Alfa. For Fiat, the deal may help the company gain access to Mazda's engine and lightweight technology.
The Alfa Romeo and Mazda roadsters will be developed for the global market. Each version will have distinct styling and use engines unique to each brand, the companies said today.
Reuters and Bloomberg contributed to this report
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.