News that Alfa Romeo parent company Fiat has done a deal with Mazda that will finally see a return of the iconic Spider based on the same rear wheel drive underpinnings as the fourth-generation MX-5 (or Miata as it is known in certain parts of the world) has led to whispers of a possible return of sister company Lancia's equally legendary Fulvia as well.
Fiat won't officially be drawn on the rumours out of its Turin headquarters over the weekend, but insiders close to the Italian car maker's boss Sergio Marchionne say there is a lot of enthusiasm surrounding the Fiat/Mazda co-operation, with one suggesting that the MX-5 platform would provide the perfect basis for a production version of the well received Lancia Fulvia concept first shown at the Frankfurt motor show back in 2003.
"The Fiat deal with Mazda opens up all sort of possibilities, and not only for the return of the Alfa Romeo Spider. We are looking at other aspects that may provide increased economies of scale, not only on a component sharing level but also in the area of production. Whether Lancia and a possible resurrection of the Fulvia is included in that is something I can not comment on at this time," a long time Fiat employee told TheAutoInsider.
Our take: Lancia's at a low ebb, but this is just what it needs to set it back on track. Imgaine: a 300bhp turbocharged 1.8-litre four-cylinder Multi Air engined powered Lancia Fulvia HF, complete with the superb retro design touches of the 2003 concept car, the sort of rear wheel drive handling traits that makes the Mazda MX-5 such a delight to drive and a six-speed double clutch gearbox to boot.