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Fiat, Mazda Agree to Build 2-Seater

Fiat and Mazda finalize their deal to build a 2-seater Alfa Romeo-branded roadster arriving in 2015.

The heretofore unnamed Alfa vehicle will be produced at Mazda’s Hiroshima, Japan plant, the auto makers announce today. It will be based on the next-generation Mazda MX-5.

Both auto makers agree to develop two uniquely styled rear-wheel drive vehicles, with proprietary engines specific to each brand.

Mazda says it hopes to revitalize interest in the MX-5, while Alfa Romeo looks to re-establish itself as a worldwide presence.

During the North American International Auto Show in Detroit this week, Fiat CEO Sergio Marchionne tells reporters Alfa Romeo’s return to the U.S. has been delayed as the auto maker wants to make sure the launch is “just right.” The first Alfa Romeo vehicle to return to the U.S. will be the 4c coupe.

Marchionne says he hopes Alfa Romeo’s return will be bolstered by Maserati’s increasing worldwide presence as Fiat re-energizes its premium brands.