Alfa Romeo 166 Replacement to be built in North America

Alfa Romeo’s next full-size rear-wheel-drive sedan will be manufactured in North America, where Alfa hopes to sell most of the 166 replacements.

The new sedan will share the same new Chrysler-developed platform as the next-gen Chrysler 300 and Dodge Charger. Although the Alfa will share its American counterpart’s platform, it is set to receive its own unique suspension and powertrains. To compete in the luxury full-size sedan class, Alfa believes a rear-wheel drive platform is essential, and the acquisition of Chrysler provides Alfa with a suitable architecture.

Alfa is likely to use Chrysler’s Brampton, Ontario, plant for production of the 166 replacement, originally codenamed the 169. The plant in Brampton already produces Chrysler’s LX-platform cars: theChrysler 300, and Dodge Challenger and Charger.

Inside Line also reports that a shortened version of the same platform could underpin the next Alfa Romeo Spider and Brera. However, even the shortened platform may prove to be too big for European buyers. The Italian company has already completed the design of a rear-wheel-drive Spider and Brera and will look for another RWD platform if Chrysler’s will not work.

Chrysler will also be using Alfa’s platforms to underpin some of its new models, specifically the tiny A platform the Fiat 500 and Panda are based on, the B-segment that underpins the Fiat Grande Punto, and the C-segment that the Alfa Romeo 147 replacement -- known as the Milano -- will be based on, as well as an Alfa Romeo Giulia, replacing the 159, on a stretched version. Both the Milano and Giulia could be produced in the U.S. once Chrysler and Dodge begin producing their own models on these platforms.

Alfa Romeo aims to re-enter the U.S. market in full-scale production in 2011. It has already re-entered the U.S. market with its ultra-exclusive 8C Competizione.

Source: Inside Line

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