This sparked speculations as to a possible solution around the problem this created for the upcoming Mazda-co-developed Spider, and the one that seems to have popped up is that of selling it as an Abarth.
The issue stems from the fact that the future Spider will be built in Japan, alongside the upcoming next-gen MX-5, and this goes against Marchionne’s desires; this looks unlikely to change until he’s no longer CEO, but that’s some three years into the future (supposedly 2017).
Apparently, Marchionne had been saying this all along, but without also offering up a suggestion as to what a possible fix could be. Now, Autonews Europe has put forth the Abarth theory, though, in all fairness, it would be a much-much better plan to give it a Lancia badge and have a two-strong lineup for the 108 year-old name that currently only consists of the ageing Ypsilon city car.
The source article contains quotes from insiders who explained that “Abarth really makes sense for a lightweight, small displacement, high-output two-seat roadster, which perfectly fits the brand’s DNA,” but I think that it’s the second-best idea, after the Lancia one…
By Andrei Nedelea
Note: Alfa Romeo duettottanta concept pictured