Alfa has revived an historic badge for its all-new 147 replacement, seen here in these first official pictures issued today. Following a last-minute decision to ditch the name Milano – precipitated by angry Milanese workers irritated at Alfa naming the car after the town despite having shifted operations to Turin – the Golf fighter will be called Giulietta.
Using a new platform that will underpin the next Fiat Brava, the Giulietta uses a mix of steel and aluminium clothed in bodywork that borrows cues from the 8C supercar – sort of – including sweptback headlights and a narrow glasshouse. All Giuliettas will have five doors but the rear handles are hidden in the C-pillar, just like the old 147’s, to give a coupé feel. The sports car feel continues inside with red-lit instruments grouped into two hooded binnacles and a wide expanse of dashboard with modern-style toggle switches.
The new Alfa Giulietta: the Golf from Italy?
Fractionally longer, lower and wider than the Volkswagen Golf, the Giulietta promises to match the German’s cabin space and its aggressive pricing. But will it match its fine blend of ride and handling? Given recent form, the odds are against it, but the fact that there’s a new multi-link suspension set-up under the rear end should help, and toggling Alfa’s DNA selector (standard on every model) will select different characteristics for the steering, throttle response, optional Q2 electronic differential and stability control system.
Certainly the engines will give Volkswagen something to think about. There are four, all turbocharged and all fitted with start-stop systems to cut consumption and emissions. On the petrol side there’s a 118bhp 1.4TB and a 168bhp Multiair that uses Fiat’s clever valve train technology; on the diesel, a pair of second generation JTDM common rail motors: a 1.6 with 104bhp and a 2.0 with 168bhp.
Coming later is a Quadrifoglio Verde (remember the green cloverleaf badge?): the 1750 Tbi petrol hot hatch with 232bhp. Sounds interesting.
Alfa Romeo's Giulietta badge: a potted history
Alfa first used the Giulietta badge in the 1950s on a range of small coupés, saloons and convertibles, and again on a four-door saloon 20 year later but it has laid dormant in the back catalogue for a quarter of a century. The new model makes its debut at the Geneva motor show in March 2010 and lands in showrooms in summer 2010 priced from just over £15,000.