Good news kids! Mazda and Fiat have been fooling around together behind the bus shelter after school and want to take their relationship to the next level.
In adultspeak that means they have formally signed a non-binding MoU to collaborate on two new roadsters based on the MX-5 platform. Remember, that’s a rear wheel drive platform for those playing at home. The agreement states the new models shall be lightweight, distinctly styled and brand specific. Awesome.
So, what’s with the picture of the Alfa Romeo 4C Concept above? Fiat knows you only look at her because she’s got a bit of cash, she’s smart enough to know she’ll tease more cash from you if she struts a sexy Alfa Romeo in front of you. Much like the 4C, really.
To be clear, then, the two new models will be sold under the Mazda and Alfa Romeo brands. This story just got a little bit cooler, don’t you think. For Mazda they get to work with the style gurus from Italy. While Alfa Romeo gets to work with the efficiency masters from Hiroshima, which is where the current plans suggest the two cars will be built.
Assuming the courtship goes well then the Mazda–Alfa Romeo roadster romance should be consummated by the end of the year.
The official word can be read below and includes comments from the father’s of both families.
Mazda and Fiat Announce Co-operation Program
Mazda Motor Corporation (Mazda) and Fiat Group Automobiles S.p.A. (Fiat) have signed a non-binding Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) 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.
The study calls for both Mazda and Fiat to 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.
The project assumption is that both vehicles will be manufactured at Mazda’s Hiroshima, Japan, plant with production for Alfa Romeo envisaged starting 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. 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.” said Takashi Yamanouchi, Mazda’s Representative Director and Chairman of the Board, President and 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.” said Fiat CEO Sergio Marchionne.
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.