Along Came a Spider: Alfa Romeo Looking to Build MX-5 Competitor for U.S.

Could Alfa Romeo be looking to build a Mazda MX-5 competitor? Anything is possible.

Although the return of Alfa Romeo to the U.S. market has been talked about for too long, Fiat execs remain adamant that it's going to happen. The Italian automaker plans to debut the production version of the 4C concept for their big U.S. return, but a new report from AutoExpress claims that Alfa is looking to also build a challenger to the Mazda MX-5. In what would be an Italian-style throw-back to the basic, no frills two-seat roadster, you'd think they'd simply cut the roof off the 4C and call it a day.

However, AutoExpress also claimed that Alfa is thinking of using a detuned version of their 1.75-liter with just 150hp that's in the Giulietta QV. In other words: this is nowhere near the 4C's expected 300hp output. So what's Alfa thinking? The likely answer is that they could develop an all-new rear-wheel-drive small car platform. If they don't, the only other small car platform available is used for the 159 hatch, which is front-wheel-drive - a major no-no in the small roadster segment. Again, this is only a rumor for now, but looking at the MX-5's long time success, Alfa would be smart to seriously considering building their own small roadster.

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