Fiat Chrysler Automobiles is planning to develop a new line of rear-wheel-drive sedans and sports utility vehicles for Alfa Romeo which high-end versions will be fitted with engines developed by sister brand Ferrari, sources privy with the matter told Bloomberg. The new models will be rolled out in 2016. Since Fiat chief executive Sergio Marchionne took over the top post in 2004, annual deliveries at Alfa Romeo dropped 56 percent to 74,000 cars.
Marchionne dropped in 2012 a sales target for Alfa Romeo by 40 percent, no thanks to a spending freeze in Europe that delayed the launch of new models. Now armed with more resources from Chrysler and a recovering European demand, Fiat could not afford to delay plans for its sporty brand. Giuseppe Berta, a professor at Bocconi University and former chief of Fiat's archives, remarked this is the last chance for Alfa Romeo, adding that Marchionne's “bet is a long shot.”
He quipped that to beat the German luxury brands, Marchionne needs to make Alfa unique – by using Ferrari engines and Italian design. Sources told Bloomberg that Fiat is mulling dropping the current versions of Alfa Romeo MiTo and Giulietta hatchbacks, which accounted for 99 percent of deliveries in 2013.
Fiat intends to boost the re-launch of Alfa Romeo by using Jeep's international dealer network, which could effectively widen Alfa's reach. Marchionne is set to unveil plans for Alfa Romeo in May as part of a Detroit presentation of the strategy for Fiat Chrysler Automobiles.
The new Alfa Romeo Giulietta is powered by a new 1.6-liter JTDm turbo diesel engine that delivers 120 hp of output and is mated to the Alfa TCT. Further technological advancements include the Uconnect system with Live services.
Interestingly, the new Giulietta lineup is available in three trim levels -- Giulietta, Giulietta Super and Giulietta Veloce. The lineup is also available in two packs -- Veloce and Lusso. Customers could also choose from nine engine versions, powered by petrol, diesel or liquefied petroleum gas. Optional equipment and accessories are also available to allow customers to further personalize their rides.
As developed, the new Giulietta is an embodiment of the so-called "Alfa Spirit" that has typified the cars created and produced by Alfa Romeo. These cars are light and efficient thanks to the intelligent use of materials and achieving the correct weight-to-power ratio. Moreover, Alfa Romeo cars have been considered as perfect expressions of the attention for detail usual in Italian designs. Furthermore, these cars offer high levels of agility and steering responsiveness as backed by balanced weight distribution and evolved suspensions.
Amazingly, the new Alfa Romeo Giulietta is laden with an array of features developed by Magneti Marelli. These include powertrain, suspensions and exhaust systems as well as lighting devices.