Mazda and Alfa Romeo to develop new roadster

Mazda and Alfa Romeo to develop new roadster Mazda and Fiat have announced they will develop and manufacture a new roadster based on the next-generation MX-5.

The rear-wheel-drive car will be sold by both Mazda and Alfa Romeo (which is part of Fiat Group Automobiles) as two "differentiated, distinctly styled, iconic and brand-specific light weight" roadsters, and will feature engines specific to each brand.

Fiat states the "project assumption" is that both vehicles will be manufactured at Mazda's plant in Hiroshima, Japan. Mazda is yet to announce when its car will go on sale, although Fiat says production of the Alfa Romeo model is envisaged to start in 2015.

Sergio Marchionne, Fiat CEO, 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 recognised leader in compact rear-drive vehicle architectures in order to deliver an exciting and stylish roadster in the Alfa Romeo tradition."

At present both companies have signed a non-binding Memorandum of Understanding, but are expected to complete the final agreement later this year. The two companies have also said they will discuss further opportunities for co-operation in European markets.

The Telegraph