According to a report by the British magazine Auto Express, the next-generation Alfa Romeo Giulietta compact hatchback could share its architecture with the rear-wheel-drive Giulia sedan.

The all-new Giulia is scheduled for release during the second quarter of 2016, both as a 505-horsepower Quadrifoglio model and as a 276-horsepower base model. A new Giulietta is due in the next two years, possibly in the United States, and it could use a shortened version of the Giulia's platform. While it appears that the Giulia will be categorized as a small car, the Giulietta should remain a compact.

According to the report, the information comes from a high-ranking executive. Auto Express says that, at a recent Fiat Chrysler Automobiles [NYSE:FCAU] event, head of Fiat and Abarth passenger vehicle design Alberto Dillilo said the next Giulietta will be based on a "shortened version of the Giulia’s platform." When pressed about the possibility of rear-wheel drive, he responded, "It's possible, technically.”

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The current Giulietta platform is front-wheel drive and versions of it have been used for everything from the Dodge Dart to the Jeep Cherokee to the Chrysler 200. A new rear-drive platform would almost certainly prove sportier. While the aforementioned Chrysler products probably wouldn't use a rear-wheel drive, the new platform could help Alfa Romeo go upscale and the addition of all-wheel drive could make the architecture more adaptable.

Alfa Romeo has said the Giulia's platform is scalable. While we have taken that to mean it can get longer and wider for use in an SUV and/or a full-size sedan, it could also mean that it can get smaller for a hatchback. It will be interesting to see how Alfa Romeo chooses to proceed. If the next Giuletta is rear-drive, it could be a lot of fun...and a 300-plus horsepower Quadrifoglio version would certainly be enticing.

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