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Mazda and Fiat team up for new roadster

Mazda and Fiat team up for new roadster

Fans of the Mazda MX-5 roadster will be pleased to hear that the Japanese manufacturer has teamed up with Italian giant Fiat to develop a new version of the car.

The new roadster will be based on the MX-5 and will eventually carry the Mazda and Alfa Romeo marques.

Both firms have entered a non-binding Memorandum of Understanding for both the development and manufacture of the new car.

Takashi Yamanouchi, Mazda's representative director, chairman of the board, president and chief executive officer, described the deal as the first step toward establishing improved technology and development alliances.

"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 recognised as the best-selling roadster of all time," he said.

While the firms will work side by side on the study, the firms will eventual make two distinctly different-looking, brand-specific cars.

With both cars based on the rear-wheel drive MX-5 it will be interesting to see the two takes on the vehicle which will ultimately capture the imagination of the world's driving enthusiasts.

Both vehicles are set to be made at Mazda's Hiroshima plant in Japan, with the Alfa version set for a 2015 start date.

Fiat chief executive officer Sergio Marchionne said that the agreement clearly demonstrates the firm's commitment to turning Alfa Romeo 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," he added.

Posted by Sebastien TurkenburgADNFCR-3205-ID-801371188-ADNFCR