Alfa Romeo to Develop Roadster on Its Own, MX-5 Goes with Fiat-Abarth
The upcoming Alfa Romeo Spider, which was expected to be a fruit of cooperation between Fiat Chrysler Automobiles and Mazda, won’t be the Italian sibling of the 2016 Mazda MX-5. However, the Italian manufacturer will work together with Mazda in order to create a new Fiat-Abarth roadster. This way, there will be two roadsters on the market, but probably with completely different characters. This can be boiled down from the Car Magazine report which announced the interview Mr. Harald Wester, Chief Technology Officer and Head of Alfa Romeo and Maserati gave for the January issue of this magazine.
But what does this means for the Italian automaker and roadster markets around the world? It seems that FCA is determined to improve its presence in sports car markets.
The in-house Alfa Romeo Spider model probably won’t be a big rival to the newly developed Mazda MX-5. It probably won’t interfere with the new Fiat-Abarth roadster, too.
The initial plans, which envisaged a new Alfa Romeo Spider and the MX-5 to be developed together, aimed at using the same engineering and architecture, but the intention was to create two completely different vehicles. Of course, both cars would be roadsters, but their style, appearance, and aesthetical context in general would be totally different. This could be expected of the new roadsters, too. The Alfa Romeo Spider will live its separate life, built on the new platform and motivated by new Alfa Romeo engines.
The Fiat-Abarth sports convertible probably won’t have many things in common with the new 2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata. Of course, the Japanese roadster will share a lot of its structural elements, but the appearance of the Italian incarnation should be utterly different. It’s too early to take a wild guess about the upcoming roadster, because it’s too early and both of the cooperating automakers aren’t willing to say anything precisely at this point.
Photos: Mazda, FCA US