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No More Mazda Miata

In 2015 or so, the Mazda Miata will be no more. Alfa Romeo and Mazda will collaborate on the next generation of Miata. Shall we call it an Alfa RoMiata? It could be a great new car, or a disappointment. I think it will be a good replacement. What do you think? Read about it here in this Miata fan’s review:

My thoughts are that even basic subcompact like Mazda 3, Hyundai Elantra, Ford focus,etc, are such good handling little cars its just hard to justify buying an impractical dedicated sport car like the Miata, in a tight economy.

jtsanders,
you are pretty post happy tonight, you still must be excited over the Ravens Super Bowl Victory. Congratulations

@jtsanders I think an Alfa/Mazda car will not be good. I remember that Italian cars aren’t known for reliability. And Mazdas are to some degree glorified Fords. So it’s actually an Alfa, Mazda and Ford roadster.
AlfaRoFoMiata
Sounds like a monster!

Call it the “Ninja Romeo”?

@GeorgeSanJose we have a winner! The name, not the car.

I wouldn’t worry much. Mazda is supposedly providing the platform and even making the Alfa sister model - in Japan. I don’t know how the Italians feel about this development, but I find it reassuring, as it might become possible to buy a car with Alfa style that doesn’t fall apart in a few years. It’s good for Mazda, too, with Alfa helping offset costs for a model that doesn’t sell in large numbers, but does so much for Mazda’s image.

Ford sold off their share in Mazda a few years ago and they’ve gone their separate ways since. Ford had been using Mazda expertise for US small and mid-sized cars, but decided to have their European division take on that role. Thus the new Fusion is a European Ford Mondeo and the Escape is a Kuga. The generation before were both engineered by Mazda.

This has left Mazda looking for other partners, thus the Alfa deal, which is supposed to involve future models in addition to the Miata/Alfa, probably other sporty cars Fiat (Alfa’s parent) doesn’t want to develop on its own. Possibly something for Dodge or Chrysler to sell? Mazda has a considerable engineering department to pay for, given their modest size. I hope they can make it work as I really like their cars. Their SkyActiv initiative is quite interesting, and seems an effective way of increasing efficiency without exotic technologies.

My sister has owned the same Miata since 1993. It still runs great. Since I’m a tall person…the Miata feels like an overgrown go-cart to me.

Seems like this’ll be a gain for Alfa, no loss for Miata fans.

We’ll see. A few years back, Lotus had a new chief who was going to scrub the entire Lotus line and replace it with more modern designs. He got replaced before that disaster was completed. The Exige was upgraded to a V6, but stayed the same car, and is still considered Lotus’ “jewel in the crown”.

The Miata, called the MX5 as of recent years, is still by far teh most fun you can have for that amount of money. It still retains all of the elements that made the MGB great and none of the reliability foibles. There are still lots of people who, like myself, consider a pure sportscar like the Miata to be as good as it gets. I read a European magazine (I think it was “Car”) recently that tested 1/2 dozen high-end sports cars and included the Miata. They all loved the Aston, the Maseratti, and the others, but in the end it was the Miata that they all wnjoyed the most. It wasn;t the face-altering fastest, it wouldn’t power ut of high speed slides, and the leather wasn;t made of specially fattened calves, but it was just a good old-fashioned solid sportscar.

We’ll see what happens.

I really wouldn’t paint FIAT and Alfa with the “unreliable” brush based on experiences from 30 to 40 years ago when they were last sold in the US. I work for an Italian owned company and travel to Italy fairly often. I have also become friends with many of my co-workers over there. The folks who drive modern FIATS and Alfas (and Lancias) are all happy with their cars and say they are very reliable and give them no trouble. The only guy I know over there who complains about his car owns an Opel. FIAT has come a long way since the dark days of the 1970s. Additionally, Mazda does not sell enough cars to keep their infrastructure in place, these partnerships are keeping the company going.

Also, older Alfas are some of the better classic cars out there, both in sophistication and build quality. An Alfa Spider is pretty modern, especially when compared to, say, an MG-B. The Alfa Spiders have lasted much better than the equivalent Fiat.

I read that Lancia was going to revive the Stratos.

@americar, I am still pleased with the thrilling end to the Super Bowl. Not as excited as I was Sunday, but still happy. Didn’t got to bed until 1AM. I went to work yesterday rather than the parade, though and still got up at 5:15 to get ready for work on Monday.

I don’t see how an Alfa/Mazda collaboration is doomed. I expect that they will share design costs and build their own versions of the car. The Miata version should have the same reliability as the existing one. I only foresee the occasional new generation problems. And even they are a lot fewer than they used to be.

Alfa Romeo makes great looking cars. If they do the grill, and Mazda does the rest, it’s fine.
The Toyota/Subaru sports car was almost completely built by Subaru. Collaborations share developmental costs, which does not necessarily mean that both build the car.

In this case Mazda is going to build both the Miata and the Alfa, per Car and Driver, in one of their Japanese plants. Alfa will just be selling restyled Miatas because Fiat doesn’t have an appropriate rear-drive platform for a small sports car. Alfa’s extravagant 8C Competizione of a few years ago used Ferrari/Maserati components, but that made Ferrari unhappy, as it always has when Fiat has made them share their goodies. A couple of years ago Ferrari finally convinced Fiat to split them off into a separate division instead of being grouped with Maserati, and sometimes Alfa. Future Maseratis won’t be able to use Ferrari platforms (unless Fiat changes its mind, which would not surprise anyone who follows the company.)

Mazda needs as many deals of this sort as possible now that they can’t count on Ford paying for part of their R&D. This Alfa partnership makes goid sense, in a modest way, but I don’t know who else needs Mazda’s small car expertise. Mitsubishi? They seem unable to make popular cars on their own. Suzuki, possibly. They’re a force in ‘kei’ cars, the Japanese superminis, but have failed at larger cars.

I don’t know why Fiat’s divisions can’t share some parts. After all, Ferrari uses a GM suspension.

Ferrari wants to maintain the appearance of exclusivity for their image-conscious buyers. It’s hard to justify their prices if a much cheaper Alfa shares most of the parts. Even Maserati has been told they need to develop their own engines. Many of their recent models used variants of Ferrari engines. Ferrari’s image is worth bug bucks to Fiat. All the branded merchandise and the theme park are driven by it.

@MaekM, I know. But I just wanted to make a point about GM’s magnetic ride control. It’s so good that Ferrari uses it. I suppose that they won’t let Alfa Romeo or Maserati use it, though.

Yep, the Miata isn’t going anywhere. The new ND and the Alfa will be separate cars. I heard rumors that there will be some engine downsizing and turbos will be fitted, lifting the Miatas BHP count up near 200. The Alfa will have a more powerful engine but also a heftier price tag.