Mazda and Fiat Partner on Next-Generation MX-5 Miata Platform

Love it it or hate it (and really, how could you hate it?) the Mazda MX-5 Miata has been incredibly successful. In February 2011, the car crossed 900,000 unit sales since its 1989 introduction. According to the Guinness World Book of Records, the Miata is the best-selling two-seat sports car. The MX-5 has held this record since May 2000, when it reached 531,890 units.

While in form it has remained similar to the original, the MX-5 has gained a lot of weight. Mazda research and development Hirotaka Kanazawa has said the next-generation model will be a return to form: “We will return to the original. It will be lightweight and the cost will be lightweight too. It will be easy to handle and fun to drive.”

The weight target has been set at 2,200 pounds. The 1989 original tipped the scales at 2,150 and the current car comes in at 2,410. We were expecting to see the replacement arrive in 2014, but that may be pushed back. Today Mazda has announced a partnership with Fiat on a new, lightweight rear-wheel drive platform. This platform will underpin an all-new MX-5, and will enable Alfa Romeo to get a small roadster of its own. This is one the best partnerships we’ve seen in a long time.

Mazda, who no longer has Ford as a strong partner, needs to form alliances to to provide economies of scale. Fiat is looking for efficiencies as well, and partnering Mazda is a great way to get small roadster expertise . Is it possible we could even see a Dodge roadster based on the platform in the future? Stranger things have happened. Mazda says the two roadsters will be powered by different engines. And, lest you think they’ll be rebadges, the two will be “distinctly styled, iconic and brand-specific.” In our opinion, this is automotive partnership at its best. Hopefully it doesn’t push back the next MX-5 too much though.

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About The Author

Tony Pimpo is a young automotive journalist who lives in Northern California. He believes the future of the automotive industry will depend in a large part on the recommendation of enthusiasts and Generation Y. More than ever, automakers lately have realized the power of Gen Y. Not only in regards to buying power, but in driving opinion and spreading a brand’s message through the internet and various forms of social media. His appreciation for cars formed at an early age, thanks to his dad, who has always been involved with cars in different ways over the years. Tony has contributed to various websites in his pursuits, and is on staff at GMInsideNews, where he has been writing since the age of 12.

1 Comment on "Mazda and Fiat Partner on Next-Generation MX-5 Miata Platform"

  1. paul

    Slated for the official launch during March 2013 at the Geneva International Motor Show, the next gen MX5 Miata few design and styling secrets have been revealed by the Mazda Motors.

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