Fiat Group Automobiles S.p.A. and Mazda Motor Corporation have joined hands to develop a new roadster to be sold under the Alfa Romeo brandnames. The non binding Memorundum of understanding for the development of the new roadster will officially take shape as an agreement in the later half of 2012. The new sports car will be based on Mazda’s next-generation MX-5 rear-wheel-drive architecture.
While the new roadster will be developed jointly, it will be sufficiently differentiated to match the identity of the two brands. Both variations will be high on style, light weight and will feature rear wheel drive. The engines powering the roadster will also be different, and will be proprietary to each brand. The first of these roadsters is expected to roll out by 2015 in the form of an Alfa Romeo, from Mazda’s Hiroshima plant, where even the Mazda variant will be produced. The two companies are also discussing further opportunities for cooperation in Europe.
Speaking on the development, Takashi Yamanouchi, Mazda’s Representative Director and Chairman of the Board, President and CEO said “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.”
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.”
It would be interesting to see what the love child of the two of the most iconic design marques of our times looks like when it takes birth. Which of the two carmakers would you put your money on for a better looking product?