Alfa Romeo's Duetto Spider may have shot to fame in the 1967 film The Graduate, but even this Hollywood endorsement couldn't stop the car from being axed in 1993. Now, Alfa Romeo's CEO, Luca de Meo says that he has dreams of bringing back the iconic Alfa Spider, along with his plan to sell 300,000 Alfa Romeos every year from 2010.
Alfa's head honcho established this goal earlier this year, but emphasized that even though the global automotive market may be in a meltdown of sorts it would not affect Alfa's goal to move 300,000 units annually. Alfa Romeo sold just half that figure last year, meaning that it has a lot of ground to catch up on in order to achieve this goal - ground which will hopefully be easier to cover with the introduction of bold new models, such as a resurrection of the iconic Alfa Spider, and improvements on its current stock of models.
Currently, Alfa's marketing teams are finding it hard to sell the 159, Brera and Brera Spider due to their excessive fuel consumption and heavy weights. Luca de Meo insists that Alfa is working on these problems, and will be introducing a new generation of engines next year to cut down on fuel consumption, reports AutoWeek. This could include compact turbocharged engines that are already in use in Fiat and Lancia models.
There was also talk of Alfa cutting the life cycle of the 159 short and developing a new, lighter model to succeed it. This lighter model would also allow Alfa to install smaller engines, such as its 1.4L four-cylinder unit or its 1.8L turbocharged unit.
While developing lighter sedans is key to making the Alfa Romeo brand succeed in this segment, the Italian manufacturer will also be developing an SUV model to satiate global desires for large cars, despite the current economic crisis.
Meanwhile, de Meo also mentioned that the successor to the Alfa Romeo 147 would be a vital model in helping to create a new image for the Alfa brand, which is planning to return to the U.S. market in 2011. Discussing the way Fiat brought back its iconic '500' model to represent its brand, de Meo stated that the Duetto could play a similar role in cementing Alfa Romeo's success, especially in the all important American market.
A possible successor to the Duetto could also spell a new cabriolet model for Lancia, which plans to show its Aurelia cabriolet concept car in Geneva next year. Fiat could develop a successor to the Duetto and share the platform with Lancia, using styling changes to market the cars differently. You can check out the Aurelia concept by clicking here.