Alfa Romeo will replace the ageing 159 with the new Giulia - but not until 2014. Our artist's impressions reveal how the Alfa Romeo Giulia should look, in saloon and estate bodystyles.
Again offered as saloon and five-door Sportwagon, the Giulia will be derived from the Fiat-Chrysler CUSW platform (C-segment, US compatible, Wide) which underpins about a dozen different upcoming Fiat Chrysler models, including the Dodge Dart unveiled this week.
Alfa Romeo Giulia: based on CUSW
CUSW is a flexible front-wheel drive, AWD-capable modular components set which can trigger a wide variety of products from a compact two-seater coupé to a near full-size seven-seater crossover.
It is not yet clear whether the proposed CUV will be marketed as part of the Giulia family, or as individual model which may yet be named Kamal.
So the Giulia is Alfa's next life saver?
Never mind the numbers. Sergio Marchionne, master of ceremony at Fiat Chrysler (make that Chrysler Fiat) adjusts them as he moves along the steep and winding road to promised prosperity.
For 2011, Alfa Romeo had to scale back its sales forecast from you-don't-want-to-know to, at best, 160,000 units. Despite this correction, its grande capo kept predicting 500,000 Alfa sales for 2014 - until September when the very loyal Harald Wester, senior brand manager for Alfa Romeo and Maserati as well as leading R&D person for the group, felt compelled to lower the target by 100,000 cars to 400,000 units. It's still a massive 150% increase over the 2011 result.
Alfa Romeo: what else can we expect?
To reach this goal, the Italians leave no stone unturned to prepare seven new models and four brand-new car lines. Acknowledging the fact that Alfa Romeo does not yet quite see eye to eye with the German premium brands in most areas that matter bar design and emotion, the Italo-Canadian promoter of blue turtleneck sweaters has selected North America as the starting point for The Great Alfa Romeo Revival Tour.
Why? Because this move gives the brand a little more time to get the hardware and quality issues sorted before it challenges Audi, BMW and Mercedes on their home turf. Until Alfa is fully competitive, the pricing for the new products will be quite aggressive, and at the same time the strategists are preparing a comprehensive peace-of-mind warranty.