Fiat and Mazda have finalised a development and production deal that will see a new Alfa Romeo roadster built at the Japanese carmaker's Hiroshima plant.
The news follows details of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) announced early last year, confirming the brands will develop the new Alfa model together, based on the next-generation MX-5 roadster.
For Mazda, the deal allows it to invest more heavily in development and production, while Alfa will (re)gain a new hero model to sit alongside the upcoming 4C coupe.
"It is especially exciting to be collaborating with such a prestigious marque as Alfa Romeo on a new roadster based on the next-generation MX-5, which is such an iconic vehicle for Mazda and recognized as the best-selling roadster of all time," Mazda chief Takashi Yamanouchi said.
The new Alfa, likely to take on the beloved Spider name, will draw power from a Fiat group engine. Sure to delight fans however is that power is likely to go to the rear wheels, as in the MX-5.
The carmakers have stressed that the two cars, while twins under the skin, will not merely wear different grilles and lights; they will feature their own unique styling all-round, protecting the iconic styling of both brands.
The new MX-5 is expected to debut either late in 2013 or early next year, while the new Alfa is unlikely to debut before 2015.