In his latest effort to overhaul Alfa Romeo, Fiat CEO Sergio Marchionne announced a new partnership with Mazda to produce an open-top two-seater sports car at the Japanese automaker’s Hiroshima plant starting in 2015. Current industry speculation suggests that the new car will be based on the concept Duettottanta created by Pininfarina for Alfa Romeo in 2010.
While Marchionne hopes that the new venture will enable him to capture some of VW’s success with Audi, as well as help give his company access to Mazda's engine and lightweight technology, the agreement opens the door for Mazda to increase its capacity utilization through Alfa.
The new Alfa Romeo roadster will be developed for the global market, and will be based on the architecture of the next generation Mazda MX-5. The agreement foresees for both Mazda and Fiat to develop two differentiated, distinctly styled, iconic and brand-specific roadsters featuring rear-wheel drive. Alfa Romeo and Mazda roadsters will be developed for the global market. Each version will have distinct styling and use engines unique to each brand, the companies stated.