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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.