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Alfa Romeo Revives Plans For Rear-Wheel Drive Flagship: Report

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2010 Alfa Romeo Giulietta

2010 Alfa Romeo Giulietta

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The last we heard, Alfa Romeo was coming to the U.S. in late 2012 with a host of new models including a new Spider sports car, Giulia mid-size sedan, and a pair of SUVs.

Earlier plans for an Alfa Romeo rear-wheel drive flagship to be jointly developed with Maserati and based on Chrysler 300 underpinnings were apparently shelved by Chrysler-Fiat boss Sergio Marchionne due to it being a low priority.

Turns out the Alfa flagship is back on the table, though one of the two SUV models planned has reportedly been canceled. Additionally, we’re unlikely to see Alfa Romeos in local showrooms until the middle of 2013.

In plans revealed to investors, Autocar reports, Alfa Romeo has stated that it is keen on targeting the ‘near-premium’ segment currently dominated by Volkswagen, and to a lesser extent Volvo.

A key element of this move upmarket will be the introduction of the rear-wheel drive sedan, which could be called the Montreal or even 6C.

Power would likely come from a downsized Chrysler Pentastar V-6, displacing around 3.0-liters, and production would almost certainly take place in North America.

The planned launch date, however, is not until 2014.

Before then we’re expecting to see a new compact SUV from Alfa Romeo. Due in 2013, it will share the Giulietta’s Compact platform and now be the brand’s sole SUV.

2011 Alfa Romeo 4C Concept

2011 Alfa Romeo 4C Concept

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It will be joined that same year by a small sports car to be based on the stunning 4C Concept. It’s not clear whether this model will be called the Spider or keep the 4C title.

The tiny Mito hatchback is also due for a facelift in 2013 but this model has been deemed too small for the U.S. and won’t likely see local sale anytime soon.

One year later will come the long-awaited Giulia mid-size sedan. Designed as the successor to the aging 159, which bows out of the market later this year, the new Giulia’s arrival has been delayed due to Marchionne and his management team being unhappy with its initial design.

The car will be based on the Compact-Wide platform, an enlarged version of the Compact platform underpinning the Giulietta hatchback and remain front-wheel drive. However, an all-wheel drive option is expected.

If all goes to plan, Alfa Romeo is hoping for sales of up to 400,000 vehicles annually by 2014, but with the brand struggling to reach 155,000 sales this year, that figure may be a little optimistic.
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