The fourth-generation ‘ND’ Mazda MX-5 was revealed last year to much acclaim. The sharply angled, aggressively styled roadster hasn’t even been released yet, but there have already been several planned offshoots.
First, the car was suggested to be the basis for a rear-wheel drive Alfa Romeo Spider, but the project was ultimately shelved late last year. The MX-5 was then rumored to spawn a Fiat Abarth model, but a new report by Autocar confirms the automaker has other plans.
According to Fiat Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne, the MX-5-based two-door will wear a standard Fiat badge and be dubbed the 124. He confirmed the news during an interview at the 2015 Geneva Motor Show, citing the brand’s plans to build all future Alfa cars in Italy with Italian powertrains.
Though it was never a fatty, the MX-5 went back to its lightweight, analog roots for the fourth generation. At just 2,200 pounds, the 2016 model is the lightest iterant since the first-gen Miata of the 1990s.
As far as engines go, there will be two to choose from: a 1.5-liter four-cylinder with 129 horsepower, and a bigger 2.0-liter unit with 155 hp. Both can be channeled through either a six-speed manual or a six-speed automatic.
Neither powerplant stacks up to the 2.0-liter mill from the third-gen model, which produced 170 hp, but the skinnier body and lighter frame should more than make up for it.
As we reported in February, a Mazdaspeed version of the new MX-5 could be in store in the coming years. Mazda’s head of global public relations, Kudo Hidetoshi, recently said, “We will have this ND-series model for maybe ten years, which gives us plenty of time make many variants. And yes, a turbocharged or MPS variant is one of the options we will definitely consider.”
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