Fiat is developing a new plan to revive its struggling Alfa Romeo brand, according to Fiat-Chrysler chief executive Sergio Marchionne. The new plan will be the fourth in nine years for Alfa Romeo, which has suffered a 30-percent drop in sales in the first nine months of 2013 to 51,000 units, according to the Europe's auto industry association. Marchionne said that they are determined to “reshape the Alfa Romeo platform” and that they will be in a position to “outline more” at the end of the first quarter of 2014."
Sources within the carmaker told Automotive News that a small team of engineers is currently developing a new, flexible rear- and all-wheel-drive platform that is expected to underpin at least four new Alfa Romeo models: the Giulia mid-sized sedan and wagon, a large flagship sedan and a mid-sized sports utility vehicle.
The team is reporting directly to Harald Wester, Fiat-Chrysler's chief technical officer and the chief executive of Alfa Romeo and Maserati.
The first of the vehicles based on the new platform will be launched in Europe in late 2015 or early 2016. All Alfa Romeo vehicles underpinned by the new architecture are expected to be sold in the United States.
The brand is slated to return to the US next summer with the 4C coupe. A source told Automotive News that the new architecture could also underpin the replacements for the Chrysler 300 and Dodge Charger large sedans and future Dodge Challenger coupe.
Remarkable performance, exceptional control, intense streamlining, and design that draws style inspiration from traditional Alfa Romeos. In short, this is the all-new Alfa Romeo 4C, a high-performing vehicle that makes no compromises and calls for its drivers to hit the road or the track to feel the exhilaration of the drive.
Alfa Romeo 4C is fundamental and light, a vehicle where every facet has been conceived to give complete drive enjoyment. That same fundamentals formed its styling. The vehicle conveys an innate beauty that comes from a flawless mix of form and function. Its configuration and mass instantly remind you of one of the most stunning coupés ever, the Alfa Romeo 33 Stradale. Like the iconic 33 Stradale, the 4C’s design is meant to fulfil tremendous requirements, mechanically and functionally. Its streamlined body encases the engine and chassis with crisp and elemental surfaces.
Conceived by the Alfa Romeo engineering team and manufactured at the Maserati Modena plant, this appealing coupé has two race bucket seats. They employed materials and designs like carbon, aluminium, and rear-wheel drive stemming from the 8C Competizione.
They also took advantage of knowledge gained from Alfa Romeo's most recent models, all completely modified to optimise the new vehicle's sporty attraction. Evidence of this can be found in the all-new 1750 Turbo Petrol with direct injection and aluminium block, the cutting-edge new-generation "Alfa TCT" dry dual clutch automatic transmission and the Alfa drive mode selector with an all-new Race mode.