Mike Stevens | Nov 15, 2011

Europe's economic woes have seen Alfa Romeo production lines slowed to a crawl, but if new reports out of Europe are to be believed, the brand's design office would appear to be running at full steam.

Fiat group boss Sergio Marchionne confirmed in September that plans for a new midsized SUV had been scrapped. Now, according to the UK's Auto Express, development of a new MX-5 rivalling Spider is well under way.

Pegged as a replacement for the retired Brera Spider, the new convertible will reportedly focus on lightweight construction and a compact size. A true successor, then, to the Spider made famous by Dustin Hoffman in the 1967 film The Graduate.

The report adds that a detuned version of the turbocharged 1.7 litre four-cylinder driving the Giulietta Quadrifoglio will power the new Spider, producing around 111kW - leaving plenty of room for a higher-powered version.

What the new Spider will look like is unclear, but Pininfarina's 2010 2uettottanta concept, pictured above and below, could offer a glimpse of what's (reported) to come.

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