An all-new Mazda MX-5 is currently being developed in conjunction with Alfa Romeo and this fourth-generation MX-5 is pencilled in for a release date in early 2015.
The venture with Alfa Romeo is so that the two companies can share the initial investment and boost profits, however the Alfa Romeo Spider is not expected until the end of 2015.
Our exclusive image suggests the the MX-5’s winning formula won't be diluted in any way, depsite Mazda's huge success in the roadster market. The new car's styling will fall into line with the latest models in the Mazda range - the CX-5, the 6 and the just-launched Mazda 3. So it gets a large, shield-shaped grille and hawk-eye headlights and bodywork that swoops tightly around the rear-wheel-drive chassis beneath.
Besides the basic steel structure, the Mazda MX-5 won’t share very much with the Alfa. The new MX-5 will be powered by unique 1.3 and 1.5-litre turbocharged engines with just enough performance to let the chassis’ talents shine through. With high-strength steels used throughout, engineers are aiming to strip at least 100kg from the current MX-5’s kerbweight, with 1,050kg the target figure.
The Spider will be built alongside the Mazda MX-5 in Japan but it will shun the Mazda's smaller engines in favour of the 1.75-litre turbo destined for the Alfa Romeo 4C, detuned to around 200bhp.
A price has yet to be revealed for either car but we would expect a sub-£20,000 price tag for the Mazda, which will help the MX-5 retain its reputation for value.