2009 Chrysler 300-Series C Hemi

2009 Chrysler 300-Series C Hemi

Ever since Chrysler and Fiat began their tie-up talks in earnest earlier this year, people have been wondering what the first joint projects might look like. We've already brought you word that Chrysler's LX platform was expected to underpin the next-gen Alfa Romeo 169 sedan, and a new report today claims that the 169 will be built in North America.

The report, which comes by way of Inside Line, says the Brampton, Ontario plant will be the most likely choice for consruction of the new Alfa since it is already where Chrysler builds the LX-based 300C. The report also states that it won't be the LX platform underpinning the 169, but an all-new Chrysler platform--one that will also form the basis of the next-gen 300C.

The Alfa Romeo version won't use the same engines, however, with the Italian marque getting its own suspension as well, helping to ensure there will be dynamic as well as aesthetic differences between the two cars. That will be important for U.S. buyers, but also because the 169 will be exported to Europe from North America, and Europeans don't share America's taste for soft and floaty large sedans.

Alfa's 169 is expected to start around the $40,000 mark in the U.S., and should target a position roughly equivalent to the Cadillac CTS and BMW 3-series in terms of features and output. One possible engine for the car could be a version of the new Pentastar 280-horsepower 3.6-liter V-6, though whether that would qualify as a unique powertrain for the Alfa model isn't yet clear. It's more likely that the Pentastar engine will be reserved for Chrysler and Fiat models, with the Alfa getting its own mill.

The 169 will likely accompany Alfa Romeo's return to retail sales in the U.S., which is scheduled for 2011.

Check out some of our previous coverage for more of what Chrysler plans over the next 18 months and Fiat's plans for co-operation with Chrysler.

[Inside Line]