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Fiat will get Mazda MX-5 platform

Change of plan: A 2012 agreement between Fiat Chrysler and Mazda was to produce an MX-5-based Alfa Romeo, but now it looks like the Japanese roadster will provide the underpinnings for a new Fiat sportscar.

Alfa Romeo boss confirms Mazda MX-5 based Fiat sportscar on the way

Fiat logo23 Dec 2014

ALFA Romeo's boss has confirmed that the mooted Mazda MX-5-based sportscar would not form the basis of a new Alfa Spider, but would instead share underpinnings with a new as-yet unnamed Fiat model.

In an interview with British motoring magazine Car, Alfa Romeo chief executive officer Harald Wester confirmed a forthcoming Alfa-badged sportscar will not share its underpinnings with Mazda's MX-5, but the Japanese platform was more likely to find its way under a Fiat branded 'specialty' vehicle instead.

Rather than borrowing technology from the Japanese/Italian collaboration, Mr Wester said a new Alfa would evolve from project Giorgio - the company's codename for future rear- and all-wheel drive architecture, with production remaining in-house.

“As far as the Spider goes, the final version is of course no longer the two-seater FCA [Fiat Chrysler Automobiles] co-developed with Mazda, but a derivative of project Giorgio,” he said.

But Mr Wester said the model sharing agreement, which was signed in 2012 with a view to producing a joint Mazda-Alfa sportscar by 2015, is not over.

“The Far East import will probably find a new home with Fiat-Abarth,” he said.

This confirms GoAuto’s report in May that Fiat looks set to gain the MX-5 underpinnings originally earmarked by Alfa-Romeo.

Our report came after FCA outlined its five-year plan, which indicated a ‘specialty’ model would be launched by Fiat by the end of 2015 in the United States.

With the 2016 MX-5 arriving in the US early next year, Fiat’s version could launch by the end of 2015 or 2016.

Under the agreement, both cars will be built at Mazda’s Hiroshima plant with the Fiat using an FCA-sourced powerplant and its own styling.

The FCA plan also explained that all Alfa Romeo models were to be built in Italy, further adding weight to the theory that it will be the Fiat sister brand that rides on an MX-5 basis.

FCA chief executive officer Sergio Marchionne also hinted that the sportscar may not wear Alfa badges at this year’s Geneva motor show.

Whether the car will don the Abarth badge of Fiat’s performance sub-brand or if it will revive the Barchetta nameplate is yet to be confirmed.

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