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Old 10-11-2012, 09:26 AM   #1
AVANTI R5
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Default Alfa Romeo's Product Plan for the U.S. (For Now, Anyway)

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Fiat has been talking about Alfa Romeo’s return to the U.S. for more a decade—check out the timeline—but CEO Sergio Marchionne has finally made the decision: After nearly 20 years away, the brand will start selling cars here again in 2014. (We’ll believe it when we see it, but let’s play along for now.) The return to the States is part of a large revamp of the brand that will see a number of new models introduced in the U.S., Europe, and around the world, and this Alfa renaissance will lean heavily on alliances with Fiat, Chrysler, and Mazda. Read on for the latest intelligence from Italy, as well to see renderings of how we think the new Alfas will look.


Giulia Sedan
The central and first piece of Alfa’s U.S. relaunch will be the new Giulia sedan shown above. (A wagon will be sold elsewhere, but won’t make it here.) Based on the Compact U.S. Wide (CUSW) platform—a stretched version of the architecture used for Alfa’s Giulietta compact—that underpins the new Dodge Dart, the new Giulia will take aim at the Audi A4 when it arrives in 2014. In an effort to minimize cost, the first new Alfa to be offered in this country for nearly two decades will be built here, too.



The new Giulia’s CUSW bones also sit under the Fiat Viaggio, the Italian marque’s reworked Dart for the Chinese market. In selling two vehicles with volume aspirations in the U.S. and China under Italian nameplates, Marchionne is hopeful that this is the first step toward making Fiat as a whole a truly global player.
The Giulia will share components with the next-generation Chrysler 200 and will offer the Pentastar V-6 engine. However, the Italians expect that the strongest-selling Giulia on our shores will be powered by a new turbocharged 1.8-liter four-cylinder churning out roughly 170 hp. This engine, as well as a diesel option—and you can expect one—will be assembled in Italy.








Compact Crossover/SUV
Roughly six months after the Giulia arrives on our shores—we assume it will drive here from Europe, just like the Fiat 500 did in its recent commercial—a compact crossover SUV will join it in Alfa’s thus-far nonexistent showrooms. The Volkswagen Tiguan–sized crossover will share its architecture with the replacement for the current Jeep Compass and Patriot; it’s expected that this is the CUSW platform. The Alfa is said to be styled in such a way as to conjure images of a jacked-up four-door coupe, and it will be powered exclusively by Chrysler engines. The Alfa off-roader will be manufactured alongside the Jeep in Belvidere, Illinois. The idea to produce a full-size Alfa SUV based on the Jeep Grand Cherokee has been scrapped.






Alfa Romeo 4C coupe concept from the 2011 Geneva show. 4C Coupe and Roadster
Ultimately, Alfa Romeo will attempt to preserve its image as a sporting marque, and that’s why Marchionne is pushing to sell the new 4C as a coupe and convertible in the U.S. and China in addition to Europe. The 4C will be introduced to Europe next summer before arriving in the U.S. about a year later—just after the Giulia has been released. The rear-wheel-drive two-seater will make more than 200 hp when it’s launched. Alfa isn’t expecting the topless 4C to sell in tremendous numbers, but rather to serve as a halo car of sorts.








Duetto Sports Car
The 4C won’t be the only convertible in Alfa’s lineup, though, as the rear-wheel-drive Duetto sports car also will make it here. The styling theme has yet to be finalized internally; it could look more muscular and modern, as depicted in the top image, or it may take the more retro direction seen below that. The Duetto (which alternatively could resurrect the Spider name) will be built neither in Italy nor in the U.S., but rather in Japan. It will share much of its chassis with the next-generation Mazda Miata after Fiat and the Japanese brand agreed to a partnership to share costs. The two versions of the car will have unique engines, however; the Alfa will be powered by the same turbocharged 1.8-liter found in the new Giulia, but mounted longitudinally rather than transversely.


So to summarize: Alfa hasn’t set foot in this country for nearly two decades, its return has been delayed seemingly forever, and now the current plan is to arrive in the U.S. and introduce four new models in the next three years. If Sergio Marchionne is one thing, he’s certainly ambitious. View Photo Gallery
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Old 10-11-2012, 09:32 AM   #2
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the mere thought of a chrysler engine in an alfa is just

just

wrong

in so many ways. I guess beauty is truly only skin deep in this case.
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Old 10-11-2012, 09:53 AM   #3
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I welcome the return of Alpha (aside from 8C) with open arms.

Nick
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Old 10-11-2012, 10:02 AM   #4
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Chryslers engines aren't that bad. Their styles and interiors are the issues.

--kC
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Old 10-11-2012, 10:55 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SCRAPPYDO View Post
the mere thought of a chrysler engine in an alfa is just

just

wrong

in so many ways. I guess beauty is truly only skin deep in this case.
Just like a Ford engine in an AC Ace...no, wait, that actually worked out pretty well.
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Old 10-11-2012, 11:49 AM   #6
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You are not comparing ford of the 60's to Chrysler of today are you?

Because that would be just crazy.

I am okay with the multiair engine. As at least that is Italian.
But a Chysler engine...

guess the Pentastar is not the worst they could have chosen.
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Old 10-11-2012, 12:04 PM   #7
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RIP Nik
I will always miss you

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My advice if you are considering purchasing an "Alpha" would be to not just wait out the first model year but the first generation.
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Old 10-12-2012, 08:07 AM   #8
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This news gives me mixed emotions.

I am a huge Alfa Romeo fan, but alas my admiration for this brand is hammered into the pages of History ....but not the past 20 years worth.


Sigh,
The Mazda tie-up gives me hope of owning a modern, well built + reliable Alfa Romeo ~ I really do hope it's amazing!

As far as the rest of that line-up,







Last edited by Italiano; 10-12-2012 at 08:12 AM.
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Old 10-12-2012, 08:13 AM   #9
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Have to chime in and show my love for the step nose!

DROOL
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Old 10-12-2012, 01:18 PM   #10
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I have a new found love for Alfa since my Lemons team uses a 1985 Alfa Romeo Milano. The thing is awesome and surprisingly reliable (once you rip all the electronics out i guess). I hope this pans out to their benefit.
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Old 10-16-2012, 06:03 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SCRAPPYDO View Post
the mere thought of a chrysler engine in an alfa is just

just

wrong

in so many ways. I guess beauty is truly only skin deep in this case.
What about the chevy V6 engines that were in the cars since the late 90s?

Their cars have been rarely RWD as well. Isn't the 8c the only rwd car they have made since the SZ/RZ?

Alfa now is all about the style, they make good looking cars but thats about it.

Quote:
The thing is awesome and surprisingly reliable (once you rip all the electronics out i guess).
The whole thing is generally reliable at least compared to other europeon cars.

The only annoying thing on those and the GTV6 is the timing belt every 30k miles job other than that they are perfectly awesome.
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Old 10-16-2012, 08:03 AM   #12
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Alfas were dead to me in the 90's. THe V6's of the 90's from chevy were nothing to dream about.

I want an italian engine in an italian car.
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Old 10-16-2012, 08:42 AM   #13
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Don't knock the Pentastar engine unless you've driven it. I had it in my Challenger (which just got wrecked by a stop sign runner) and it's really fantastic. Other than having boatloads of torque WHEN YOU NEED IT it's super smooth and gets great mpg's. In a 4,000 pound car I was getting 35 on the highway and 24.8 overall in and out of NYC five days a week. Of the 20+ cars I've owned in the last 27 years it was, hands down, the best and most driveable motor and paired with the Nag1 tranny it was a pleasure to drive. I mean, really, what's the last car you've driven that would smoke the tires in a 2-3 upshift at 80
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Old 10-16-2012, 05:42 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SCRAPPYDO View Post
I want an italian engine in an italian car.
Realistically though, I think what people want is an Italian SOUNDING engine. If Alfa can tune the Pentastar to make it sing like an Italian engine, then apart from it being not really Italian, isn't it practically Italian? I'm not that well versed in the history of Alfa engines, but have they ever set the world on fire based on specific output or sky high redline?
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Old 10-16-2012, 07:25 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gravitylover
Don't knock the Pentastar engine unless you've driven it. I had it in my Challenger (which just got wrecked by a stop sign runner) and it's really fantastic. Other than having boatloads of torque WHEN YOU NEED IT it's super smooth and gets great mpg's. In a 4,000 pound car I was getting 35 on the highway and 24.8 overall in and out of NYC five days a week. Of the 20+ cars I've owned in the last 27 years it was, hands down, the best and most driveable motor and paired with the Nag1 tranny it was a pleasure to drive. I mean, really, what's the last car you've driven that would smoke the tires in a 2-3 upshift at 80
A v6 that would smoke the tires shifting from second to third in an automatic 4000 lb car


How long have you been off your medication?
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Old 10-16-2012, 07:48 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by SCRAPPYDO View Post
A v6 that would smoke the tires shifting from second to third in an automatic 4000 lb car


How long have you been off your medication?
Ouch .
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Old 10-17-2012, 12:53 PM   #17
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You owe me a beer for that one
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Old 10-17-2012, 01:01 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by gravitylover View Post
I mean, really, what's the last car you've driven that would smoke the tires in a 2-3 upshift at 80
<<< And it's an automatic.

--kC
Ok, not smoke, but I can chirp them. The 1-2 with traction control off, I can smoke. I haven't been brave enough to do the 2-3 shift with TC off yet... as it gets squirrely.
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Old 10-17-2012, 01:12 PM   #19
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If he would have said chirp the tires at 80, I may have not come on so harshly... but smoke them? I had a 505HP 74 TransAm with a strong turbo 350 Transmission with a crazy shift kit that would chirp the tires going into 3rd at about 75.

But smoke them...
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Old 10-17-2012, 02:48 PM   #20
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Originally Posted by SCRAPPYDO View Post
A v6 that would smoke the tires shifting from second to third in an automatic 4000 lb car


How long have you been off your medication?
So is it safe to say that his MPG numbers are also off base?
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Old 10-17-2012, 03:45 PM   #21
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I will leave that to your discretion sir.
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Old 10-17-2012, 03:46 PM   #22
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are they still claiming the 4c will be less than 2000Lbs? I am calling shen-an-agins
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Old 10-17-2012, 04:26 PM   #23
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are they still claiming the 4c will be less than 2000Lbs? I am calling shen-an-agins
I was going to question it, when I thought I saw 3000lbs...

Less than 2000lbs... not a chance. More of a chance that it is a typo, and they meant less than 3000lbs.
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Old 10-17-2012, 04:33 PM   #24
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So is it safe to say that his MPG numbers are also off base?
Yeah, a 4000lb non-aerodynamic boat, rated from Dodge at 18/27, is gonna get 25/35? Hmmm. my much more aerodynamic Acura that weighs 2700lbs and has only 4cyl & 11-1 comp., gets 35.
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Old 10-18-2012, 09:48 AM   #25
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Why would you doubt that I could "chirp" the tires with 268 ft/lb of torque at 5500 rpm? It surprised the **** out of me too but it's for real. If the traction control was on the car would bog down but if it was off... Believe, don't believe - whatever.

As far as the mileage goes I wouldn't lie about that. Overall average for 23,800 miles was 24.8 and I NEVER got less than 31 on a straight hwy run and frequently ran over 33 and as high as 35 if it was gas station to gas station and I kept the speed under 75. The car got its best mileage at 72, that's what happens when you have a 2.60 rear and a light foot and aren't afraid to draft a bit. Give me grief if you want but don't disbelieve.
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