Mazda and Fiat to make RWD roadster

Mazda and Fiat have come together to make a Mazda and Alfa Romeo roadster based on the next generation MX5 rear wheel drive platform. Each car will have its own design and power unit, and both will be built at Mazda’s Hiroshima plant in Japan.

Hopefully the Alfa Romeo will be a revival of the Series 1 Spider or “Duetto”, which unfortunately is more commonly known as the car that ran out of petrol in The Graduate. Anyway it does seem like the perfect opportunity to make a good mannered fast roadster that’s fun to drive, there’s no doubt their last couple of attempts haven’t been too exciting and it’s been way too long since we’ve had a rear wheel drive Alfa anyway.

The coming together is good news for Mazda too, since the scaling back of their Ford partnership Mazda have had a hard time staying out of the red so linking up with Fiat can only be a good thing for its Hiroshima factory.

In a press release today, Takashi Yamanouchi, Mazda’s Representative Director and Chairman of the Board, President and CEO said,

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. It is especially exciting to be collaborating with such a prestigious marque as Alfa Romeo on a new roadster based on the next-generation MX-5, which is such an iconic vehicle for Mazda and recognized as the best-selling roadster of all time

…and Sergio Marchionne, Fiat CEO

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. We are appreciative of this collaboration with Mazda and look forward to maintaining a fruitful and continuous relationship

The Final Agreement is expected be signed in the second-half of 2012 and production of the Alfa Romeo is expected to start in 2015, that gives me quite a few years to start saving for a Spider GTA, well just in case I’m going to be prepared.