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The 2015 Mazda MX-5 Miata will come as the product of the cooperation of two giants, Mazda and Fiat (Alfa Romeo). That cooperation will bring a new roadster to each company: a new MX-5 for the Japanese company and a new Spider for the Italian one. Both models will be built at Mazda’s Hiroshima plant starting 2015, but each model will offer its own engines.
Information on the next MX-5 is still scarce, but a new report suggests Mazda plans for its new roadster to weight in 220 lbs lighter than the current car. That’s significant considering the current car only weighs 2,447 lbs when equipped with the soft top and a manual transmission. Both the convertible hard top and the automatic transmission add weight.
The prototype was spotted while testing at Chrysler’s headquarters in Auburn Hills, Michigan. Running on a current-generation Mazda MX-5 body, the mule has bodywork add-ons that suggest the future hard points of the next-generation two-seater. Spies report that the car’s front overhang seems to have grown, possibly to meet tougher European pedestrian-safety standards. They note the wheelbase appears to be longer than today’s car as well.
Until now, it has been rumored that the MX-5 would use a 1.3-liter turbocharged engine that features SkyActiv technology. However, new details suggest that the tiny roadster could also get a diesel engine.However, because a diesel roadster could be a tough sell to traditionalists, Mazda will still offer a gasoline alternative. Rumors suggest that this diesel engine will be a naturally aspirated 1.6-liter SkyActiv engine that produces approximately 130 horsepower. This would give the Miata its lowest horsepower output since it bumped the standard 1.8-liter four-cylinder to 133 horsepower in 1996.
As for the Spider version, it could be offered with a turbocharged 1.4-liter ‘TB’ engine with power ranging from 120 horsepower in the base model to 296 horsepower for the top versions. Both models will be offered with a six-speed manual gearbox.
The Miata replacement is due by 2015; Alfa’s version could be dubbed the 2C when it arrives for the 2016 model year.
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