With Mazda as Fiat’s new partner, Alfa Romeo may finally be able to replace its front-wheel-drive Spider roadster, which stopped in 2010. The two companies are now coming together to co-develop a new roadster for Alfa and Mazda that will be built on the Miata/MX5 platform. This move is expected to help boost sales of Alfa Romeo, the sports-car brand of Fiat Group.
Alfa only has two models available: the MiTo entry-premium car and Giulietta premium compact model. This makes Alfa the automaker with the smallest number of product offerings. In Europe, Alfa sales declined by 32% to 36,000 units from January to April, according to Jato Dynamics.
It also said that the market had fallen 7.1% in total. MiTo sales dropped by 36% with sales of 10,500 units. Meanwhile the Giulietta’s sales fell 25% to 24,000. Alfa had sold about 2,000 of its 159 mid-sized premium sedan and wagon models, which both ended their run in 2010. For several years, Alfa has been talking about developing a rear-wheel-drive model to serve as the replacement of its front-wheel-drive Spider.
Alfa had hoped to reconnect with the Spider, which was initially launched in 1966. This car was made famous by the movie The Graduate, which starred Dustin Hoffman. This car was based on the Giulia sedan. Due to the low volumes being planned, Alfa wanted a partner so that they could share the expenses for a relaunch. The automakers are proposing that this model, which they will co-develop, will succeed the rear-wheel-drive MX-5/Miata roadster. The styling of each brand would be different. By 2015, Alfa will start to launch its roadster version in markets around the world. Mazda’s Hiroshima plant will build the car. [source: Autonews]