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Rumored: FCA to Brand 2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata Twin as Fiat 124 Spider

Motor Trend logo Motor Trend 2/11/2015 Erick Ayapana
mazda-mx-5-miata-alfa-romeo-prototype-side-profile© Provided by MotorTrend mazda-mx-5-miata-alfa-romeo-prototype-side-profile

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles’ clone of the 2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata evolves yet again. This time around, rumors suggest that FCA’s version of the two-door roadster will be branded as a Fiat, specifically the Fiat 124 Spider.

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The report comes from Auto Express ¸ after the publication spoke to insiders involved with the roadster plan. Auto Express also reports that Fiat applied for U.S. trademarks on the nameplates “Fiat 124” and “Fiat 124 Spider,” further solidifying the rumor.

The nameplate, of course, harkens back to the original Fiat 124 Spider produced from the late 1960s to the early 1980s. That said, Auto Express suggests that the new version will showcase styling cues from the classic 124 Spider, including its roundish headlights and rectangular taillights.

Related link: 2016 Mazda MX-5 first drive (Japanese spec)

FCA and Mazda agreed to the partnership back in 2013 when the companies originally planned to badge the Miata’s twin as an Alfa Romeo. That changed when FCA CEO Sergio Marchionne recently decided that all Alfas would be built in Italy. Since the roadster will be built at Mazda’s plant in Hiroshima, Japan, FCA then suggested it would be branded as an Abarth.

Related link: Research the current Mazda MX-5

Given FCA’s trademark applications, the Fiat 124 Spider name seems likely to stick. Auto Express suggests that the Abarth badge could appear for a high-performance version. Reports suggest that a 1.4-liter MultiAir turbo I-4 will power both the normal and Abarth versions, with the latter tuned to make at least 200 hp. By comparison, the U.S-spec 2016 MX-5 Miata will produce 155 hp from a 2.0-liter naturally aspirated Skyactiv I-4. A lightweight, stripped-down version is rumored to be in the cards as well.

Rumored: FCA to Brand 2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata Twin as Fiat 124 Spider

With the 2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata slated to arrive in showrooms later this year, FCA’s version will likely launch in 2016.

Source: Auto Express

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