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William Maley

Alfa Romeo CEO Confirms No Miata Based Alfa Romeo Spyder :Comments

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It seems like only yesterday when the announcement of a partnership between Alfa Romeo and Mazda to build a new Spyder using the next-generation MX-5 Miata. But earlier this year, reports started to flow about how the partnership was going up in smoke. Alfa was reportedly going to go on its own for the Spyder, while Abarth would get the roadster that was originally going to go to Alfa. We now have confirmation on both counts.

Car Magazine recently interviewed Harold Wester, brand chief for both Alfa Romeo and Maserati. Wester confirmed that Alfa Romeo Spyder would not be based on the Mazda MX-5.

"As far as the Spider goes, the final version is of course no longer the two-seater FCA [Fiat Chrysler Automobile] codeveloped with Mazda but a derivative of project Giorgio," said Wester.

Project Giorgio is the codename for the new rear-wheel drive platform that will underpin the new Spyder, along with other Alfa models in the pipeline. Wester also confirmed that the work done by Alfa and Mazda won't go to waste.

"The Far East import will probably find a new home with Fiat-Abarth."

Source: Car Magazine

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Believe it when you see it. Right now Fiat  and Alfa both have terrible reputations for delivering product and with quality. If not when it gets here, expect it to loose nuts and bolts being driven off the lot.

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I have to say, I had a friend who had a Miata and I was not impressed in the vehicle. It had no power and could barely get out of its own way let alone another car. So I am happy to see this announcement. 

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I have to say that I really want this project to come to a successful end, because we all know that Alfa Romeo can make a beautiful car and I really want to see a cabrio designed by them, with or without Mazda.  

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    • By William Maley
      Alfa Romeo will soon be adding another SUV to sit alongside the Stelvio. Auto Express has learned that Alfa has approved plans for a mid-size SUV to take on the likes of the Audi A7, BMW X5, and Mercedes-Benz GLE. The new SUV will use a stretched version of Stelvio's platform.
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      Source: Auto Express

      View full article
    • By William Maley
      Alfa Romeo will soon be adding another SUV to sit alongside the Stelvio. Auto Express has learned that Alfa has approved plans for a mid-size SUV to take on the likes of the Audi A7, BMW X5, and Mercedes-Benz GLE. The new SUV will use a stretched version of Stelvio's platform.
      "The Stelvio for sure is an example of Alfa DNA, why don’t we translate that in a car which is a little big bigger?" said Alfa’s chief technical officer Roberto Fedeli.
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      “We have to marry the new car with the right level of electrification. Plug-in hybrid could be a problem for the Alfa DNA point of view, but for instance a 48-volt mild hybrid solution is something that we can do without losing anything,” said Fedeli.
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      Auto Express says the new SUV is two years out from production, meaning we could see it as early as 2019 or 2020.
      Source: Auto Express
    • By William Maley
      Ever since Mazda launched the MX-5 Miata back in 1989, competitors have been trying their best to out-maneuver it.; whether that is through better design, handling, or more power. While all have come and gone, while the Miata is still kicking around. What do you do in this case? If you can't beat them, join 'em. That's the case with Fiat as a few years ago, they would take the place of Alfa Romeo of developing a new roadster using the Miata as a base. The end result is the 124 Spider.
      Fiat’s designers wanted to do a modern interpretation of the 124 Spider designed by the legendary Pininfarina design house. The problem was trying to get that design to work with the MX-5 Miata’s structure. To pull this off, designers would add five inches to the overall length of the 124 Spider. The front end features many of the design touches found on the original 124 Spider with teardrop headlights, trapezoidal grille, raised fenders, and twin-power bulges on the hood. Around back is where the design begins to fall apart. The overall shape and certain choices such as the overhanging trunk lid don't fully mesh with the front. It looks like Fiat had two design teams working on either end of the vehicle, but put a curtain between them so they couldn’t see what the other was doing.
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      Moving inside, the only real differences between the 124 Spider and MX-5 Miata are the Fiat badge on the steering wheel, different fonts used for the gauges, and soft-touch plastics on the top of the door panels. Otherwise, the 124 Spider features the same layout and quirks of its donor vehicle. Controls readily fall to hand for either driver or passenger. Abarth models come with a 7-inch touchscreen with the Mazda Connect infotainment as standard equipment. On the plus side, Mazda Connect is easy to grasp thanks to an intuitive interface and a simple control knob. Downsides include the lack of Apple CarPlay and Android Auto;, and the awkward placement of the control knob. It will get in the way whenever you are shifting gears with either transmission.
      Snug is the keyword when describing the experience of sitting inside the 124 Spider. I’m 5’ 8” and had to set the driver’s seat almost all the way back to not feel cramped. Once I was able to find the right seat and steering positions, it felt like I was a part of the vehicle and not sitting on top of it. The passenger will complain about the lack of legroom as the transmission tunnel protrudes into the footwell. The seats themselves provide excellent support and will hold you in during an enthusiastic drive.
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      The automatic transmission is another weak point of this powertrain. It loves to upshift early and leaves you without any turbo boost. This can be rectified by using the paddles on the steering wheel or throwing the automatic into the manual shift mode. The manual transmission is the better choice as it allows more flexibility with the engine.
      EPA fuel economy figures for the 124 Spider stand at 25 City/36 Highway/29 Combined. Our average for the week landed around 28 MPG.
      If there is one place that the 124 Spider Abarth can give the MX-5 Miata a run for its money, it is in the handling. The Abarth feels more athletic and confident when entering a corner with little body roll and fast transitions thanks to a sport-tuned suspension. Steering is the same as Miata with excellent road feel and quick turning. The downside to the athletic handling is a very stiff ride. Road imperfections are directly transmitted to those sitting inside. There is also an abundance of wind and road noise coming inside the 124 Spider.
      In some ways, the 124 Spider is better than the MX-5 Miata. The Abarth provides crisper handling and the interior is slightly nicer than what you’ll find in the Miata. But in other areas, the Miata is the better vehicle. The turbo lag from the turbocharged 1.4L saps a bit of the fun out of the vehicle and the design is somewhat unflattering. We can understand why someone would pick the 124 Spider Abarth over the Miata as it is something different. But is it the better Miata? The answer is no.
      Disclaimer: Fiat Provided the 124 Spider, Insurance, and One Tank of Gas
      Year: 2017
      Make: Fiat
      Model: 124 Spider
      Trim: Abarth
      Engine: Turbocharged 1.4L MultiAir Inline-Four
      Driveline: Six-Speed Automatic, Rear-Wheel Drive
      Horsepower @ RPM: 164 @ 5,500
      Torque @ RPM: 184 @ 3,200
      Fuel Economy: City/Highway/Combined - 25/36/29
      Curb Weight: 2,516 lbs
      Location of Manufacture: Hiroshima, Japan
      Base Price: $28,195
      As Tested Price: $30,540 (Includes $995.00 Destination Charge)
      Options:
      6-Speed AISIN Automatic RWD Transmission - $1,350.00
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