One of the most anticipated Alfa Romeos in years, the Giulia sedan, is said to offer a big surprise when it goes on sale in late 2015.
The upcoming Alfa Romeo Giulia will probably be the company’s most important model in decades, as the brand’s revival depends heavily on the global midsize rear-wheel drive sedan.
If Alfa Romeo keeps procrastinating and delaying the launch of their revised range of cars, we will be forced to start writing jokes and make fun of them for not being able to start the "brand revival", until our pointy pleasantries get the job done and force them to launch the models, out of sheer shame.
So what is the latest piece of news from Alfa Romeo? Well, it’s what we've been getting for the last two years: more future plans, of the very detailed kind.
If there's one Alfa Romeo model that may come to the U.S. after all, it's the upcoming production version of the 4C mid-engine sports coupe concept that was first seen at the 2011 Geneva Motor Show.
A reader from the online edition of Autoweek magazine captured a heavily camouflaged prototype of the 4C testing on a Michigan expressway last Friday, January 11.
As one of the most successful (and dare we say, most beautiful) Alfa Romeo sedans of modern times, the 156 is anything but rare – just as long as you live in Europe because in the States, you have more chances of seeing a Ferrari Enzo on the road than Alfa's compact executive model.
That said, we were surprised to find an Alfa Romeo 156 listed for sale on eBay in Sacramento, California.
Introduced at the 1997 Frankfurt Motor Show as a replacement for the ill-received 155, the 156 sported a distinctive styling with hidden rear door handles, a dramatic front grille and sweeping profile lines, courtesy of designer Walter de Silva and the Alfa Centro Stile.
Given Alfa Romeo's prior history, you should always take whatever you hear about the Italian automaker's future plans with a grain of salt.
This time, its UK magazine Autocar that has come up with a mix of new information and previously known details about Alfa's 159 replacement, which is currently referred to with its internal but not final name, Giulia.
If you are a frequent Carscoop reader, you may recall a story that we wrote in October about Laurent Muller, the man who bought the rights to the Auto Avio Costruzioni trademark in 2004.
Muller’s original goal was to build a supercar based on the Ferrari 430, but with a V12 engine instead of the production version’s eight-cylinder unit.
However, as soon as he announced his plans in 2008, Ferrari filed a lawsuit against him claiming that it still owned the rights to the Auto Avio Costruzioni name, as it was used by Enzo Ferrari for a short period after leaving Alfa Romeo and before founding the car company that carries his name.
It’s 2003, 2004, 2006 – you get the idea- happening all over again; Alfa Romeo’s return to the US market has been delayed and will not happen in 2012 as was the most recent plan. Instead, Fiat Group and Chrysler LLC CEO, Sergio Marchionne, has pushed the Italian brand’s arrival back for another year, or so until he announces another delay.
After its introduction at last year’s Paris Motor Show, Alfa Romeo is finally launching its 2011 model year 159 saloon and Sportwagon range onto the UK market. The updated 159 lineup is enhanced with a new 136 bhp 2.0 JTDM diesel engine, as well as with new interior trim and equipment.
The 2.0-liter JTDM is a Euro-5 diesel unit equipped with a variable geometry turbocharger delivering 136 bhp at 4,000 rpm and 350 Nm (258 lb-ft) of peak torque at 1,750 rpm. Linked to a 6-speed manual gearbox, it allows the sedan to complete the 0-62mph (100km/h) sprint in 9.9 seconds (SW: 10.1 sec) and to reach a top speed of 126 mph (202km/h).
A few months back we showed you Marco Procaccini's Vittorio Jano design study for an Alfa Romeo 159 replacement (see here). The slinky fastback notably featured an aggressive front end treatment and a C-Column / rear glasshouse design somewhat reminiscent of the Lotus Evora.
Now Marco is back with a more practical Sport Wagon variant of the Vittorio Jano which -in theory- is 50 mm longer and 10 mm taller than its saloon sibling.
Unless Alfa Romeo has a very big surprise up its sleeves (which we certainly hope so given that the brand is celebrating its 100th birthday this year...), the only new models capable of capturing our attention at the Milanese firm's Paris Motor Show booth will be the usual 'female fatales' standing alongside their automobiles.
According to the company's press release, "the stars" of the Alfa Romeo stand will be the brand-new 140 HP 2.0 JTDM and the 170 HP 1.4 MultiAir turbo petrol with "Alfa TCT" automatic transmission versions of the Giulietta.
The Alfa Romeo Vittorio Jano concept sedan is the brainchild of independent Italian designer Marco Procaccini. Named after Vittorio Jano, an Italian race car designer of Hungarian descent that worked at Alfa Romeo from the 1920s through the 1930s, Procaccini's proposal is a sporty-looking saloon with a five-door fastback body style and seating for four.
Created as a direct replacement for Alfa Romeo's BMW 3-series-fighting 159 sedan, the Vittorio Jano measures 4,650mm in length, 1,830mm in width and 1,400mm in height. The designer said he plans to follow up the sedan with a Sport Wagon study. Gallery and video after the jump.
If the Fiat Group remains committed to its 2010-2014 product plan, then the successor to today's Alfa Romeo 159, the new Giulia, will make its appearance on both sides of the Atlantic in 2012. Until then, Alfa will keep tweaking the current 159 with incremental improvements to sustain sales in Europe.
Following the recent introduction of the new 200HP 1.75-liter turbocharged petrol and 170HP 2.0-liter JTDM diesel into the range, Alfa Romeo has now announced the release of a 2011MY 159 that will be marketed in most European countries beginning from next month.
Alfa Romeo appears to be on a celebration spree this year. Aside from the year-long festivities to commemorate the firm's 100th birthday, the Italian automaker is now celebrating the 60th anniversary of its historic 1-2-3 finish at the first ever F1 European Championship race, which was held at Silverstone motor racing circuit sixty years ago this week (13th May).
To celebrate, the company photographed one of the rare 158s which competed in this historic race alongside the latest Alfa to bear the motorsport inspired Cloverleaf badge, the MiTo QV sport hatch.
The new 159-based J4 3.2 C is powered by a supercharged version of the car's 3.2-liter V6 petrol unit with a recalibrated ECU that delivers an output of 352 horsepower and 435 Nm or 331.9 lb-ft of peak torque. The UK tuning firm has not released any information on the new performance figures.
Along with the revised engine, the modded Alfa Romeo sedan features upgrades to the chassis, brakes, and suspension, with the adjustable coilovers sourced from the 220HP J4 2.2 C, but recalibrated to take into account the new weight of the V6 engine, its distribution and dynamic properties. The car also
PS: Yes, we too noticed that 159 J4 3.2 C featured in the photos had a scratch or two, or three....
The new 159 1750 TBi gets a 1.75-liter direct injection turbocharged engine that makes 200 horsepower along with 320 Nm of torque launching the saloon from rest to 100km/h (62mph) in 7.7 seconds before topping out at 147mph or 236km/h. The sedan returns a combined fuel consumption of 34.9 mpg UK or 8.1 lt / 100km.
Alfa's new 2.0 JTDM diesel powerplant produces an output of 170 horsepower at 4,000 rpm and a maximum torque of 360 Nm available between 1,750 rpm and 2,500 rpm. With this engine, the 159 covers the 0–62 mph (100 km/h) sprint in 8.8 seconds and achieves a top speed of 136mph or 219km/h while returning a combined fuel economy of 52.3mpg UK (5.4 lt / 100km)
The new Turismo Sport trim features several sporty upgrades over the base model including 17-inch alloy wheels, Blue&Me, sports seat cloth, sports leather steering wheel with remote audio controls and gear knob, and sports dials.
The new Elegante trim also adds new features to the Turismo, including rear parking sensors, visibility pack and specififc seat and door panel upholstery.
UK pricing for both the 159 1750 TBI and 2.0 JTDM Saloon start from £21,800 (see comprehensive price list in the image above).
The Giulia, which isn't expected to surface on the market before the second half of 2011, will make use of Fiat Group's new versatile C-Evo platform that will also underpins the forthcoming Milano hatchback.
And yes, unfortunately this means that the Giulia will not make the transition to rear-wheel drive. Instead, Alfa's 3-Series challenger will be offered with front-wheel drive with the option of the Italian firm's Q4 four-wheel drive system.
It's too early for any official information on the engine range, but we suspect that the Giulia will most likely be offered with Alfa's 1.75-liter turbocharged four-cylinder petrol as well as with a V6 petrol and numerous turbo diesels.
And how about a GTA variant? Well, that's a tough one especially since Alfa abandoned its plans for a 'hot' 159, but hopefully the Italian automaker will make it up with the presentation of the Giulia GTA.
Photo: Motorionline - Thanks Maurizio!