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Auto blogFri, 18 Jan 2013
Although a little bit later than expected, Mazda and Fiat have signed a final agreement that will bring a next-generation MX-5 Miata to the Japanese automaker and a new roadster to Alfa Romeo. When the proposed arrangement was announced back in May, the two automakers had hoped to seal the deal last year, but it doesn't appear that the production timeline for these cars has slipped any, with both expected to start rolling off assembly lines in 2015.
Other than a shared chassis with a rear-wheel-drive layout, it sounds like the two cars are still planned to be distinct in their own ways from their styling right down to their engines. Mazda will produce both cars at a plant in Hiroshima, Japan, but it isn't clear what role each automaker will play in the cars' developmental process. The big question, of course, is what clever portmanteau name we can come up with, like Toyobaru. Mazda Romeo is the easy choice, but Alfazda might roll off the tongue a little better.
Scroll down for a brief press release from both automakers.
Fri, 18 Oct 2013
Competitors in the small-car segment didn't do nearly as well. Four vehicles earned "poor" grades.
Only one small car out of 12 tested earned a good grade in the latest round of crash-test results compiled by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. The Mini Cooper Countryman received a "good" ranking on the organization's small-front overlap test.
The Mazda MX-5 Miata is as popular around the Autoblog offices as Kate Upton posters are around fraternity houses. Few staffers have much criticism for Mazda's ubiquitous roadster, and fewer still aren't overjoyed when one arrives in their driveway. So you can imagine how a report from Auto Express about a more potent MX-5 model is going over in our offices today.
The new model, which was shown in concept form as the Mazda MX-5 GT at the Goodwood Festival of Speed, has a slight catch, though. First, we have absolutely no idea if Mazda will bring the MX-5 GT to the US. Secondly, and perhaps more problematically, this isn't a production car - it's a kit from the team at Jota Sport.
Now, to be fair, the kit doesn't sound like a bad thing. It bumps the UK-spec 2.0-liter, 157-horsepower engine up to 203 hp thanks to a sports exhaust and a revamped ECU (46 horsepower from an ECU and exhaust in a naturally aspirated car?). To make the little Miata even more agile, Jota has also fiddled with the suspension. AE doesn't mention things like the grippy tires or Recaro seats that were found on the concept, though.