Fiat-Chrysler chief executive Sergio Marchionne plans to transform Alfa Romeo into a stand-alone company as part of efforts to revive the beleaguered brand, people privy with the matter told Automotive News Europe. Sources disclosed that Alfa Romeo will have a publicly disclosed profit and loss statement to ensure that his latest re-launch bid becomes a credible business proposition.
The plan is considered critical for Fiat dealers in the United States – now selling only the Fiat 500 and 500L -- who are expecting to carry Alfa Romeo. Sources told Automotive News Europe that Marchionne is set to announce Alfa Romeo's new status on May 6 when it outlines its five-year product and business plan.
Transforming Alfa Romeo into a global brand is vital part of Marchionne's plan to make Fiat's operations in Europe profitable once again by mid-decade. That transformation will entail a re-launch as backed by introducing new rear-wheel-drive vehicles -- including an SUV – by 2016 to help Alfa Romeo compete better against luxury carmakers like BMW.
High-end versions of the new vehicles will be powered by Ferrari-developed engines. The new plan will be Marchionne's fourth after the first three all failed to achieve set targets. Alfa Romeo delivered just 74,000 cars in 2014 for a 56-percent drop, the lowest sales since the late 1960s.
Sources remarked that Fiat is planning six new models for Alfa Romeo – a compact SUV and mid-sized sedan that will be assembled at Fiat's Cassino site; a large sedan and a large SUV to be produced at the Mirafiori plant in Turin; and a large coupe and a two-seat roadster.
Alfa Romeo will use power its future models with the new Pratola Serra-built 1.75-liter four-cylinder turbocharged gasoline direct-injection engine that was featured in the limited-edition 4C coupe.
Though the Alfa Romeo 4C comes with 2 bucket seats, what makes it stand out from its rivals are the compact dimensions. Overall length is below 4 meters with total width at 2 meters and height at 1.18 meters. The wheelbase on the other hand does not exceed 2.4 meters. It is these dimensions that help highlight the model’s agility while also putting focus on the “supercar proportions.”
The exterior of the 4C was designed by none other than Alfa Romeo Centro Stile. Even during the beginning of the exterior’s development, the goal was not only to improve the style but to also have technical qualities in an aerodynamic and dynamic viewpoint. It is because of this that all of the style solutions implemented have been optimized in order to meet the ultimate objective, which is performance.
To meet the objective, all of the surfaces have been treated. Meanwhile, the engineering people worked with the design team in order to be able to bring out all of the cutting-edge aerodynamic solutions out of said surfaces. This partnership resulted in a model that displays a pure sports style by combining technology and beauty. Then again, this has always been the requirement for every Alfa Romeo sports car, that is, form is first and followed by function.
In addition, each structural element was created in order to maximize the dynamic efficiency. This also generates the needed downforce to make sure that there is maximum grip when undergoing fast cornering. Visible through the model’s rear window is the heart of the 4C which is the engine and the mechanics. Surrounding and closing this is the rear volume.
Due mainly to having marked musculature on top of the wheels, this gives the rear section power and strength. This rear musculature is the one that supports the round rear light clusters’ structure, the side air intakes that help cool the vehicle’s intercooler, and the air inlet which helps the engine intake. The combination of the two side air intakes and energy-charged rear volume springs to a pair of long muscles that give the side dynamism and speed.
This helps the front section have the needed volume in order to house the headlights. Meanwhile on the central part, there are two robust ribs that go through the bonnet and trace that recognizable “V.” It then ends in a natural manner around the shield.