Auto Express is reporting that the new Mazda MX-5 will be badged as a Fiat. The Mazda MX-5 was initially going to be sold as an Alfa Romeo vehicle, but Alfa Romeo vehicles need to be 100% Italian-made, Sergio Marchionne, CEO of the FCA Group, had made it clear, and that no Alfa Romeo vehicle would be built outside Italy under his watch.
On the other hand, both cars are to be built at Mazda’s plant in Hiroshima, Japan as per the joint venture agreement between FCA Group and Mazda. This situation leaves a potential option of rebadging the Mazda MX-5 as a Fiat vehicle. As per the agreement, the Mazda MX-5 will launch first in 2015, while the FCA-badged version will follow 12 months later.
The Mazda MX-5 could be launched as the new the Fiat 124 which was first used in 1966. This speculation is further supported by last week’s news that Fiat has applied for trademarks of ‘Fiat 124’ and ‘Fiat 124 Spider’ names in the US.
The Fiat 124 Spider’s styling will be not be as modern as that of the Mazda MX-5. Fiat will try to keep the new 124 Spider’s styling a bit retro, with elements inspired by of the 1966 version.
The Fiat-branded roadster will weigh less than 1,000 kg and will have a choice of small engines. One of these could possibly be the 1.4-litre MultiAir turbo seen on the Alfa Giulietta. The rebadged version will share major components such as the wheelbase and chassis with the MX-5. An Abarth version is also speculated to follow, with more power, stiffer suspension, bigger brakes and of course, sportier styling.
[Source: Auto Express]