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by Jez Spinks

The 2014 Mazda MX-5 and 2015 Alfa Romeo Spider may not be only twin cars shared by the Japanese and Italian car makers.

Mazda and Fiat are exploring further opportunities to collaborate on joint projects beyond the roadsters. (Artist’s illustration of the Spider main picture.)

Mazda boss Takashi Yamanouchi has told industry journal Automotive News at the 2012 LA motor show that engineers from both companies are currently working through an “opportunity list” of potential models.

“The engineers at both companies are meeting with each other, and we can have a mutual better understanding of each company, which can then open up new possibilities,” Yamanouchi said via an interpreter.

Mazda and Fiat signed a memorandum of understanding in May to co-operate on the rear-wheel-drive roadster project that would see the new Alfa Spider based on the MX-5 underpinnings but feature its own styling and use its own engines. The deal is expected to be set in stone before the year is out.

The all-new Mazda MX-5, which will use the company’s Skyactiv technologies to reduce weight and improve fuel efficiency, is set to debut in 2014, with the Spider following a year later.
Both models will be built at Mazda’s Hiroshima plant in Japan.

  • Dave W

    If it means more great cars like the 86/BRZ at cheaper price point like the 86/BRZ then I’m all for it.

  • Poison_Eagle

    Marriage made in heaven. What happened to BMW and Toyota collaborating on a sports car? 

    • Zaccy16

      exactly, its the ultimate, a reliable alfa!!!

  • LeStori

    Unless Mazda is making the next MX5 a mid-engined car there is little likelyhood that any Alfa Romeo based on a MX5 will have Radiator air intakes at the back.
    Meanwhile if FIAT had any clue how to market their cars they would have little need to go running to the Japanese. Alfa Romeo were selling more cars in Australia 30 years ago than today, under FIAT control.
    However a MX5 based spider has a better chance of succeding in this instance than the British with their Badge engineering which sent several brands to the rubbish bin of history along with most of the British car industry.

    • horsie

      i was just going to mention the rear air intakes. 

    • Igomi Watabi

      Yeah, I’m not sure that any comparison with the old BMC-British Leyland debacle is really a valid one in this day and age. Successful badge-engineernig is decades old and it wasn’t the reason the British car industry failed.

      I also think that there are more reasons for the drop in ALFA sales in Australia (and worldwide) than marketing. Yes, the (independent) distributor here didn’t help, but the cause was also not helped by people wanting stroke their egos and buy more “prestige” cars (exemplified in Britain when the 3 Series became the best selling salesman’s car) and long-standing prejudices (still very much on display in these pages) against the reliability of Italian cars.

      And finally – it’s just a pretty picture to illustrate a news article. Who cares where the air intakes are. And don’t make me invoke the ALFA Romeo Montreal.

  • Chest Rockjaw

    So I will have to pay even more than the already over priced Mazda to drive its Alfa clone…. No thanks, one for the fan boys I think.

  • Sydlocal

    Best of both worlds. Alfa style and character with Mazda reliability, except for the engine of course!

    • horsie

      LOL. i am sure Alfa will figure out a way to make it unreliable. maybe pack it full of in house designed electronics. 

      • Zaccy

        get over it horsie, would you prefer alfa stopped making cars all together?

        • horsie

          Was only joking buddy. take a chill pill

        • Zaccy16

          who dare use my name! its copyrighted!

          • Zaccy

            I’m the original Zaccy, it is you who is infringing copyright!

      • Zaccy16

        yeah i wouldn’t put it pass them

    • Dave W

      Let the Italians design the car, then let the Japanese take care of the engine and electronics.

      • Luke Brinsmead

        Definitely, but Alfa’s engine notes are hard to beat.

        • Sydlocal

           Which is funny considering most of their V6s, minus heads, are now built by Holden. Even more so when you consider how ordinary those engines sound in a Commodore ie harsh etc. Mabybe Holden should ask Alfa if they can use their heads?

  • Rob_designrevolution

    The illustration is of the Alfa 4C convertible. A completely different low volume mid-engined model due for release prior to the mazda/alfa spider model

  • Luke Brinsmead

    A good partnership I think. Will be interesting to see how the two companies work together.

  • Johnno

    Even in jest, it astounds me that Alfa still suffer from perceived reliability issues. In Brazil, the market leader is for the automotive market is FIAT (that includes Alfa)! Surveys over the last 10 years have shown Alfa have made big improvements and are now no worse than other European manufacturers and are actually now ahead of the VW group of cars eg Audi though, still behind the Japanese. Hence, I can only see this as a positive as I suspect that alot of car enthusiasts have a soft spot for ALFA and wouldnt mind seeing the brand being a credible sporty alternative to “ze germans”! The public will, rightly or wrongly, now walk into an Alfa showroom “because Mazda is building the car and therefore wont leave me stranded……” Totally incorrect, but it doesnt matter as perception is everything and if this makes people sit up and buy Alfa again, this can only be good for choice and car enthusiasts.

  • Asdfawef

    Can I say the first reliable Alfa in history? And I am sure they will sell more than 1 in Aus.

  • E.T

    Finally a Alfa that won’t break down every five minutes !