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Alfa Romeo to go all-RWD
MiTo and Giulietta to be axed around 2015
Davey G. Johnson : July 19, 2013 - 4:33 pm ET
image
According to a report, the
next Giulia, like this 1966
model, will be rear-wheel
drive. Photo credit: Davey G.
Johnson
And Alfa Romeo's saga of restructuring, postponing
and rejiggering continues, swathed in
announcements, reports, rumor and innuendo. A
few months ago, the product plan at the Italian
automaker centered around the existing MiTo and
Giulietta (cousins of the 500 and Dart , respectively),
the almost-at-hand 4C , the upcoming Giulia sedan
and the Duetto , a roadster based on the next Miata.
Forget that. Sort of. 4C deliveries begin on our
shores in 2014 and the Duetto is still on track.
Those of you clamoring for pure Alfa sports cars,
be at ease. (Side note: we recently heard from a
source that the Duetto may see an optional V6
between the front fenders, rather than the 4C's
1.75L turbo four.)
According to the UK's CAR , the MiTo and Giulietta
are set to vanish around 2015 with no direct
replacements. Instead, the entire Alfa Romeo lineup
will once again be all-RWD. (Given the importance
of AWD to premium-segment snowbelt sales, we
assume versions will four driven wheels will be
available, as AWD versions of the future FWD cars
were planned and the Maserati Ghibli — from
whence the new cars' architecture will apparently
be derived — is available with AWD.)
At a time when Mercedes is hoping to lure younger
buyers with the FWD-based CLA and adding AWD
to its AMG models, BMW seems to be bent on
ironing the dynamic joy out of its automobiles and
Audi, well, Audi's always done the front-drive-
based thing, this is shocking, refreshing and
heartening news.
Alfa's stateside audience is tiny, but relentlessly
passionate. We're not sure that the company's
previous product plan would've given them what
they wanted. The 4C is a limited-production budget
supercar destined for a track days and collectors'
garages, an oddball destined to sit alongside the
Junior Zagato and TZ1 at shows.
Last year, Mazda sold 6,305 examples of the MX-5
in the US. That's an 11% increase over the year
before, but it's certainly not enough to sustain a
dealer network for a brand without supercar/hyper-
lux profit margins. While the Duetto will likely do
well in the first year or two, it's ultimately a niche
vehicle.
With the FWD hatches on the way out, it suggests
that Alfa's done wandering in the wilderness and
entered full-reboot mode. Following the 4C and
Duetto will be the an RWD version of the
previously-announced Giulia. CAR reports that the
Giulia will be a true 3-series fighter, due in 2015.
Following that car will be a revived Alfetta. The
new model's to be pitted against the A6 , 5er and E-
Class, butting up against the Ghibli in Fiat's overall
product plan. A wagon variant is possible; no word
as to whether we'll see it in the States.
Our seat-of-the-pants conjecture? The new sedans
will bow in Europe at least a year before we see
them here, giving Fiat dealers time to expand, first
to handle the 4C and then the Duetto. Figure we'll
see the Giulia in '16 and the Alfetta a year after
that, with crossovers based on both cars a sure
thing for the US market. Given the American
appetite for tall wagons, we wouldn't be surprised
to the CUVs launch at the same time as the
European versions, currently scheduled for 2017
(Giulia-based) and 2018 (Alfetta-based). In four
years, the 4C will likely be out of production, but if
all goes well, we should have the Duetto, Alfetta,
Giulia and two crossovers in American showrooms.
Beyond the marque's hardcore loyalists and the
dare-to-be different crowd, will Alfa Romeo be able
to score enough conquest sales from the Germans
to become and remain a viable proposition in
America? The new plan no doubt appeals to car
guys — we're all over it — but will the broader
populace buy in?
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There's another thread on here about this piece of fiction from Car magazine. Is the author an employee of Rupert Murdoch, because it contains few facts but lots of imaginations.
 

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Lmao...Rupert Murdoch!

Yes sounds like a load of hogwash but I am going it with coarse salt, knowing AR anything is possible
 
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