Photos and details of Alfa Romeo's Giulietta were released recently. Alfa Romeo, a Fiat subsidiary, brings the Giulietta to a long line of Alfas before it. Fiat said that the car will arrive in the United States in 2011.
But before you pin all your hopes on this detail, Fiat chairman Sergio Marchionne has said at the big Chrysler press conference in November 2009 that there's actually little hope of that happening.
He said that it has 2012 sales estimates for the Alfa but that it isn't much. Marchionne said that Alfa would have to make a case for itself in the US. What's sure for now is that the Giulietta is the first car to build on Fiat's new compact architecture. It will also underpin a range of future compact and midsize cars, including Chryslers and Dodges.
This Alfa Romeo hatchback, which measures 171.2 inches from nose to tail is about two inches shorter than the Dodge Caliber. It also rides on a nearly 103.5-inch wheelbase.
The Giulietta is a couple inches wider than the Dodge from shoulder to shoulder (70.9 inches) and about 2 inches shorter (57.5 inches). The engine range includes two gasoline engines (including a 170-horsepower, turbocharged 1.4-liter four-cylinder with Fiat's MultiAir variable valve timing technology) and two diesels.
The most powerful of the four is probably the top diesel offering, as it's a Fiat MultiJet displacing 2.0 liters and rated at 170 hp and 258 pound-feet of torque.
There will also be a new direct-injected and turbocharged, 1.8-liter four to slot at the top of the lineup. It may be small but this engine is able to generate 235 hp and 251 pound-feet of torque.
The engine will be offered only on a Quadrifoglio Verde ("four-leaf clover") version of the Giulietta featuring a lowered sport suspension.
All Alfa Giulietta models will come standard with a 6-speed manual gearbox. It was also announced that the top gas and diesel engines will get a six-speed, twin-clutch gearbox option as well.