Engineers at Fiat and Chrysler are currently working on a rear- and all-wheel-drive platform for Alfa Romeo, Chrysler and Dodge vehicles, sources privy to the matter told Automotive News Europe. Alfa currently does not offer any rwd models, which means such platform would allow the brand to compete against BMW and Mercedes-Benz as such cars are preferred by many driving enthusiasts.
According to two sources, the rwd platform would underpin the Alfa Romeo Giulia mid-sized sedan and a new Alfa flagship sedan, as well as for the replacements for the Chrysler 300 and Dodge Charger large sedans, and the Dodge Challenger coupe. One source told Automotive News Europe that the rwd project is still a feasibility study and the Fiat and Chrysler has not yet signed it off for production. The first production models under the project could be launched by the end of 2015, the source said.
Alfa initially intended to replace its aging 159 in 2014 with a Giulia sedan and wagon underpinned by the CUSW (compact US wide) platform, which was introduced on the 2010 Alfa Giulietta and widened for the 2012 Dodge Dart.
The 2013 Jeep Cherokee and the Chrysler 200 replacement are also underpinned by CUSW. Fiat-Chrysler chief executive Sergio Marchionne remarked earlier this month said that the Italian carmaker working on future Alfa models, although the plans are "top secret."
Alfa has been selling only front-wheel-drive volume cars since it discontinued the Spider in 1993. The Alfa 4C small roadster due by yearend will sit on an rwd platform, but will be produced in low volume. Driving enthusiasts prefer rwd cars since they provide better driving dynamics than fwd models, which advantage include better traction on slippery surfaces. [source: automotive news - sub. required]