The marriage of Japanese technology and Italian design is a very fortunate one; the collaboration between Alfa Romeo and Mazda, for the creation of the new Spider and MX-5 is even more so. However, while we do expect the two cars to be quite competent, we’re curious to see how the manufacturers choose to differentiate them.
Now, while the styling will be predictably different, the cars will share the same platform and many mechanical bits. One thing they won’t share are reportedly the engines, which will be manufacturer-specific for each of the two offerings.
The Mazda is expected to get a SKYACTIV 1.6-liter petrol motor, with around 130 hp, while the Alfa should get the 1.4-liter MultiAir engine in its lesser variants, while cars higher up in the range may be fitted with the 1750 TBi unit. Power for the Italian cars should range from between 120 hp and 296 hp, according to British magazine Autocar.
The publication’s report also states that Mazda’s version of the roadster will not use any kind of forced induction, keeping their engines naturally-aspirated and high-revving. This is one key difference between the two roadsters, in my view, and it will give the cars very distinct characters, because, after all, the engine is the dominant force in such a small and light roadsters. Both cars are expected to get six-speed manual gearboxes as standard.
By Andrei Nedelea