By on June 28, 2012

News of the next Alfa Romeo Spider sharing its technology with the Mazda MX-5 led to some speculation that the Spider would be a more expensive version of the MX-5, perhaps with a bespoke powertrain and styling. Not quite.

According to Retuers, the Spider will be the volume model, while the 4C mid-engined sports car will occupy a premium role.

For the Spider, Fiat aims to attract younger buyers who look at an accessibly-priced Scion FR-S or Subaru BRZ and will be priced like the Miata MX-5 ($23,500 to $31,225), aiming for similar volumes (5,674 in 2011, compared with around 3,500 for the BMW Z4 or the Mercedes SLK).

The 4C should be priced in the BMW roadster or Mercedes range ($42,000 to $67,000).

As far as I’m concerned, more affordable sports cars is always a good thing. The agreement between Fiat and Mazda likely stipulates just how similar the two cars can be, but it’s hard to imagine too much overlap between two sports cars with fiercely loyal camps. If anything, the fashionista crowd may gravitate towards the Italy narrative that goes with Alfa Romeo, while the older gents who have actually owned an Alfa (and dealt with the various issues associated with them) may be more open to the idea of a Miata.

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21 Comments on “Next-Gen Alfa Romeo Spider Won’t Be An Upscale Miata...”

  • avatar

    I am thrilled that this partnership is happening. My guess is that most people will go to the one that looks better to their eye.

    Have they said whether or not the Alfa will be turbocharged? That would really be a big differentiator.

  • avatar

    As long as it drives more like a Miata and less like a Giulietta (talk about a disappointing car rental).

  • avatar

    This is one ‘old gent’ who has owned an Alfa Spider before and would love to own one again. I sorely hope that this collaboration produces an Alfa roadster that embodies the better characteristics of past Alfas: sexy styling, wonderful engine noises, an ’emotional’ connection with the driver, and reasonable price point.

    Here’s hopin’.

    • 0 avatar

      “wonderful engine noises” ? Clang, pop,hiss, rrrr, buzz, blam, kaboom?

      • 0 avatar
        Jason Lombard

        No, the beautiful symphony that you get for the five minutes prior to that.

        In all seriousness, I’ve actually run on track with a few different Alfa guys and the authors use of “fiercely loyal” is dead on. Not sure I’ve ever seen a group more devoted to their chosen marque. And when they’re running, they sound pretty darn good at full wail.

  • avatar

    As long as no mechanical bits are made by Alfa, it should be good.

    • 0 avatar

      A comment undoubtedly based on extensive personal experiences with Alfa Romeo cars in latest 20+ years.

      In stark contrast with some actual Alfa owners.

      Really… What is the point of publishing such unsupported nonsensical claims anyway?

  • avatar

    To clarify, the Reuters article specifies the 4C’s competition is the BMW Z4 ($48k), Mercedes Benz SLK ($42k) and Porsche Boxster ($48k). I don’t care how pretty the car is, if it isn’t starting in the bottom half of that bracket, I suspect it is a non-starter. It is amusing how many of these trophy-wife mobiles are sold with minimal options and base engine configurations.

    I think the bodywork is gorgeous, but Alfa has it’s work ahead of it. You likely aren’t going to beat Porche for speed, Mercedes for brand, or BMW for gadgets. I feel like this would be a crazy good car at anything under $40k base, but you risk diluting the image.

    Time will tell.

    • 0 avatar

      Alfa-Romeo has huge brand value in the US just because we haven’t been able to buy them for so long. At this point Mercedes SLKs are as common as Civics and F-150s, but an Alfa is unique, and at least to get the brand started, that will be a huge draw.

      • 0 avatar

        I feel like you are over-estimating the “value” of the brand just because we can’t buy them here. I realllllly want a new C6, but Citroen would be suicidal to try to start selling here.

        People remember Alfas and Fiats – generally as rust prone crappy cars. Again, don’t get me wrong; I want them to succeed. But it’s like Honda selling Acura or Toyota selling Lexus for the first time again.

  • avatar
    el scotto

    The Spider with Miata dependability and Alfa Romeo design? I’d be a huge fan boy. Division of labor should be Alfa: body work, seats, carpet steering wheel; Mazda everything else.

    • 0 avatar

      Alfa should also do the brakes, suspension and exhaust. If they want to do the engine heads fine as long as Mazda vets and/or builds the engine.

      I had both a Saab 9000 and an Alfa 164S. From the same platform, two very different cars emerged – differences noticed by people who were more likely to view a car as an appliance. Neither was a paragon of reliability, although the Alfa did better in my sample of one each.

  • avatar

    This is a smart/good collaboration.

  • avatar

    As a former GTV-6, Spider and Miata owner I’ll gladly take the Alfa.

  • avatar

    I have to wonder about the wisdom of Alfa having two roadsters in the US market at such wildly different price points. Alfa has the potential to be Fiatsler’s true high end luxury brand. The brand has virtually no baggage in the US, and most people associate it with high end, high style Italian sportscars.

    Anything Italian is almost automatically associated with luxury and exclusivity in ths US. Alfa could become a more mainstream and affordable Ferrari or Maserati here, but it should be competing with Mercedes, BMW, and Porsche, not Ford, Chevy, and Toyota.

    Fiat would be the perfect US home for an Italian Miata-clone, a sporty affordable, but beautifully styled roadster would help elevate the image of the 500, and it would allow Alfa to concentrate on marketing and building high end and high margin cars.

    • 0 avatar
      Good ole dayz

      >>Fiat would be the perfect US home for an Italian Miata-clone, a sporty affordable, but beautifully styled roadster would help elevate the image of the 500, and it would allow Alfa to concentrate on marketing and building high end and high margin cars.


  • avatar
    Rod Panhard

    As a Miata owner and the go-to guy for wrenching help from my neighbor the Alfa owner, I see absolutely nothing wrong with this collaboration. I suspect the hype over the final product will exceed the hype generated by the Hachi Roku.

  • avatar

    NulloModo said it best!

  • avatar

    New Alfas, be still my foolish heart! I hear the symphony! As far as model choices, back in the day, Fiat had two roadsters, the x1/9 (which i still sorely miss) and the 124. Alfa had the Spyder. I guess I’m suprised that the smaller one is not gonna be a Fiat brand and the more expensive 4c badged an alfa. But who cares really, so long as i live long enough to actually buy one, and i REALLY hope it maintaines the magic.

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