Mazda and Alfa Romeo tie-up: New details

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31 Aug, 2012 3:35pm Graham Hope

Mazda CEO says the tie-up could be the start of healthy relationship

Mazda has revealed more details on its partnership with Alfa Romeo to build the new MX-5 and Spyder.

While the pair will work together on a lightweight platform to cut costs, Mazda CEO Takashi Yamanouchi says the two production cars will not be comparable.

“The engines and price positions will be completely different,” he told Auto Express. “The Alfa will not have SkyActiv engines.” The Alfa will be more expensive.

But Yamanouchi did hint that the Mazda and Fiat may collaborate again in future.

“We want to achieve success with the MX-5 and Spyder project first,” he continued. “We can learn more about each other and see what opportunities exist.

Yamanouchi also pledged that the rotary engine still has an exciting future with Mazda, despite the RX-8 being discontinued in June.

The lack of efficiency associated with rotary engines had sparked fears about its viability.

But Yamanouchi said: “I came to Mazda in 1967 and what motivated me was the rotary engine. I am committed to continue development of the engine.

“So next year, we plan to launch an electric car in Japan only with a rotary engine as a range extender.”