New car will be based on Mazda’s next-generation MX-5 rear-wheel-drive architecture; will be sold with separate styling and engine options

Mazda and Fiat have agreed a co-operation for the development and manufacturing of a new roadster for the Mazda and Alfa Romeo marques based on Mazda’s next-generation MX-5 rear-wheel-drive architecture.

A statement from the two companies said they would develop "two differentiated, distinctly styled, iconic and brand-specific light weight, roadsters featuring rear-wheel drive.

"The Mazda and Alfa Romeo variants will each be powered by specific proprietary engines unique to each brand."

Both cars will  be manufactured at Mazda’s Hiroshima, Japan, plant. Mazda has not confirmed a production date, but it is expected to be 2014, while Alfa has said it envisages starting production  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.” said Takashi Yamanouchi, Mazda's chairman. 

Fiat CEO Sergio Marchionne said: “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.

The agreement currently takes the form of a memorandum of understanding. The final agreement is expected to be signed in the second-half of 2012. Mazda and Fiat have also agreed to discuss further opportunities for co-operation in Europe.

Our Verdict

Mazda MX-5

The Mazda MX-5 is still great fun, and more grown up in its third (NC) generation. For pure driving fun, little else gets close

Find an Autocar car review

Driven this week

Join the debate


23 May 2012

Sounds good - the reliability and build quality of Mazda with the flair and style of Alfa.

Let us pray that it does not turn out the other way round !

Enjoying a Fabia VRs - affordable performance

23 May 2012

This makes sense for both companies who will be able to offer two distinct products with shared development costs. But let's hope for Alfa's sake that the end result is better than the Arna (a previous co-operative venture with Nissan), which managed to combine the worst elements of the two respective companies.  

23 May 2012

Ouch, didn't knew the Arna... "that which has been seen cannot be unseen..."

This might be the best news in weeks, a new ALfa Spider based on the MX-5 platform? for real? <3

23 May 2012

Just think, I had the dubious pleasure of trying to sell those hideous things in the 80s!!!  

Hopefully this new project with Mazda will have a lot more going for it!!

23 May 2012

Good be a great combination.  I think there's scope for plenty of co-operation between the Fiat group and Mazda around the world.

And if they can make it look anything like the 2uettotanta, that would be just fine as well.

23 May 2012

In theory, the Alfa version should be an excellent car if it inherits the Mazda's dynamic ability. If that can be married up with Mazda's build quality, combined with Alfa's styling and engines, then there is no reason why Alfa cannot have a world beater on its hands.

23 May 2012

I have been increasingly depressed at the lack of choice in the affordable sportscar market. The Alpine concept being so hardcore and including a V6 and the cancellation of the VW Group roadsters added to this. Therefore this is one of the best pieces of news imaginable, sooner or later I can replace my GTV with a properly affordable, actual sportscar. The MX5 is a great platform, and the next one will be much lighter, and with the Duettottanta concepts bodywork it will be sensational. Lets hope they don't get greedy on the the pricing...


23 May 2012

With Mazda and Alfa Romeo working in tandem one thing is for certain: the end result will be a car with fantastic handling. It seems like a good move for both companies and it'll be interesting to see just how light the end products turn out to be, and how different they are from each other.

23 May 2012

Seems like the best of all worlds. Bring it on!


23 May 2012

How much more perfect could a car be than an Alfa convertible built by Mazda?  The MX-5's handling and build quality teamed with Alfa's style... I'm in heaven already.


Add your comment

Log in or register to post comments

Find an Autocar car review

Driven this week