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The two latest automakers to climb into bed together are Mazda and Fiat and their love child promises to be one impressive performance machine.

Having signed a non-binding Memorandum of Understanding, the Japanese and Italian automakers have agreed to examine the development and manufacturing of a roadster model for the Alfa Romeo brand based on Mazda's upcoming next-generation MX-5 Miata platform.

Distinguishing the two machines won't just be the unique styling but, but also engines unique to each brand.

According to a joint release, production of both vehicles would occur at Mazda's Hiroshima plant starting in 2015.

"Establishing technology and product development alliances is one of Mazda's corporate objectives and this announcement with Fiat is an important first step in that direction. 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 recognized as the best-selling roadster of all time," said Takashi Yamanouchi, Mazda's Representative Director and Chairman of the Board, President and CEO.

The partnership will also allow Mazda to take advantage of economies of scale, helping reduce its costs in building the Miata.

"This agreement clearly demonstrates our commitment to Alfa Romeo and the determination to grow it into a truly global brand. By partnering with Mazda, we will be co-operating with the recognized leader in compact rear-drive vehicle architectures in order to deliver an exciting and stylish roadster in the Alfa Romeo tradition. We are appreciative of this collaboration with Mazda and look forward to maintaining a fruitful and continuous relationship." said Fiat CEO Sergio Marchionne.

With the new Miata-based roadster, Alfa Romeo will have another exciting new product to offer when it returns to the North American market.
Read the full story on the Miata-based Roadster on AutoGuide.com
 

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Two :thumbdown from me. On par with the 80's Fiero/Ferrari kit cars. :puke:
 

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That's a sexy Pininfarina design if you ask me. The wife and I had already talked a little about getting a new Miata in a year or two. We miss the old one. Granted this is a styling exercise but a Fiat based Miata could be very sexy.
 

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The perfect car for when you want people to not only question your sexuality, but your sanity as well...


Also Fiat + Mazda means it will be both slow and unreliable. What could possibly go wrong here?
 

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Japanese styling and Italian reliability...what does FIAT stand for?!? I hope it's right the other way around, could be quite nice. Mazda's never put a real potent power plant in the Miata; didn't have to in order to still get respectable performance #s due to the light weight, and it allowed some overengineering for those who didn't want to reqork the bottom end and still put a light turbo in. BUT, something a bit more high-falutin' from Fiat could be just what the Dr. ordered. Anxiously awaiting to see what THIS love-child looks like...
 

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They did do a Mazdaspeed Miata that had 176 hp and did a 15.2 1/4 mile. Fairly potent.
 

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I'll admit I don't know ALL the details of all Mazda's Miata powerplants, but even 176HP (of course,f or the track, what did the torque curve look like & did it have a 6 spd tranny...). Their iron block weighs a LOT; it'd be nice with a trimmed aluminum block and sleeved cylinders, with accesories trimmed for weight, too. I'd think they could trim 100-250# off the car - that would be a BIG deal for something of that weight. Or something a la S2000 stuff fm Honda ;-)
 
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