This isn't just a pipe dream for VW. According to two independent sources, a small project team has been instructed to create a phantom future Alfa line-up. Yes, three-dimensional stuff, but so far no full-scale models. Of course, this new array of theoretical future products would use architectures conceived within the Volkswagen empire. In a next step, the tentative projects will be reviewed and then passed on to Ital Design in Turin, which is now a VW subsidiary. Italian designers working for an Italian brand masterminded by Germans? Well, both Walter de Silva (group chief designer) and Wolfgang Egger (Audi chief designer) are Alfa Romeo veterans. Christopher Reitz, the chief designer at Alfa until he left the company early this year, is in turn a VW veteran who's distantly related to Piech.
While Alfa under the Fiat umbrella is becoming more of a family-oriented brand destined to add two controversial U.S.-built SUVs to its portfolio, VW would want to steer the marque back to its sporty roots.
In this scenario, Alfas would be built in Italy and in Spain where excess capacity could be used to accommodate the mushrooming demand for Audis. In Italy, Alfa could keep most of its existing labor force, and as far as the sourcing of components is concerned, there are plenty of synergies between the premium brands of Fiat Auto and the still tentative luxury car division within the VW group.
Comments our friend from the boardroom: "Marchionne intends to quadruple Alfa sales by 2014. If this or one of his other key plans falter, we will be there to pick up the pieces."