Mazda MX-5 no compromise sports car

Mazda Fiat MX-5 Alfa Romeo

ITALIAN car maker Fiat has had zero input on Japan’s most popular convertible, according to Mazda, which will produce the pair on the same production line.

In unleashing the image-leading roadster on the media, MX-5 program manager Nobuhiro Yamamoto declared the new two-seat convertible is as pure as any MX-5 before it.

“It is not a joint development,” said Yamamoto of the collaboration between the two brands, a partnership realised to share the hundreds of millions of dollars in development costs for what will be relatively low volume models. “The MX-5 has absolutely no influence from Fiat.”

Yamamoto said the underpinnings of the new MX-5, codenamed ND and due in Australia in the second half of 2015, were bespoke to the roadster.

“We have no plans to use it elsewhere. This is specifically engineered for MX-5.”

However, Yamamoto refused to discuss the potential of a rotary being used in the MX-5 chassis – a possible revival of a much mooted new generation RX-7.

“I’m not going to talk about that today,” he said. “I don’t want any misunderstanding so I’m going to avoid that.”

Fiat is yet to reveal its new roadster or elaborate on details of the upcoming model.

While the Fiat and Mazda drop-tops will share the same basic platforms and be produced alongside each other, each will be powered by a unique engine and get unique styling, among other differentiators.

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