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Sergio Marchionne, CEO of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, has confirmed that the company’s version of the fourth-generation Mazda MX-5 will branded as the Fiat 124 Spider.

Marchionne confirmed the joint-venture vehicle’s name during a question and answer session with members of the European motoring press.

Back in the middle of 2012, when a co-operation agreement between the Italian and Japanese car makers was first announced, the plan was for the MX-5 to spawn a variant wearing Alfa Romeo badges.

When FCA decided to rejuvenate Alfa as a made-in-Italy, rear-wheel drive brand, a decision was made to turn FCA’s version of the MX-5 into a Fiat or Abarth. Alfa will instead develop its own convertible model from the rear-wheel drive platform underpinning its upcoming BMW 3 Series fighter.

With the base vehicle confirmed as a Fiat model, AutoExpress is reporting that a more powerful Abarth version is still on the cards.

fiat-124-sport-spider

The last 124-badged convertible, the Fiat 124 Sport Spider (above), was sold by Fiat between 1966 and 1982, and was a Pininfarina model until 1985.

Featuring a simple front-engine, rear-wheel drive layout, the 124 Sport Spider was powered by everything from a 66kW 1.4-litre to a 99kW 2.0-litre engine.

The new Fiat 124 Spider isn’t expected to launch until 2016.




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