Since the new Giulietta is due in European showrooms in a few weeks, Alfa Romeo is now starting to focus on launching the new Giulia -- an important vehicle for the brand, as it is supposedly designed to compete against the BMW 3 Series.
Like the smaller Giulietta, the Giulia will ride on Fiat's new compact global modular platform, which will ultimately be found in as many as 1.4 million Fiat vehicles by 2014. Fiat says it can build the platform at least two different lengths and widths, so we'd expect the Giulia -- which replaces the aging 159-- to be considerably larger (and heavier) than the Giulietta.
One of Alfa's top priorities lies with handling dynamics. The CGM platform utilizes a coil strut -type suspension up front and either a multi-link or torsion bar design in back. We'd expect Alfa to choose the former for the Giulia, but couple it with some advanced suspension tuning. The company is reportedly working with Koni to develop unique two-stage dampers for the car, while some 15 Fiat engineers have been designated to work on an optional active damping system.
Powertrain options for the Giulia will be rather varied. 118- and 168-horspeower versions of the Multiair turbocharged 1.4-liter I-4 are in the running, along with both a 104-horsepower, 1.6-liter turbo-diesel I-4 and a 168-horsepower 2.0-liter turbo-diesel I-4. Those who desire more power will possibly be able to opt for a GTA model using a 273-horsepower, 3.3-liter V-6 built on Chrysler's new Pentastar engine range. Transmission options will include both six-speed manual and automatic transmissions, while higher-end models will likely gain the option of dual-clutch gearboxes. Front-wheel-drive will be standard, but all-wheel-drive will be an option on high-content and high-performance models.
As we reported a few months back, Fiat CEO Sergio Marchionne says there's still a chance Alfa Romeo may return to the U.S. market by 2013 -- but the entire North American product portfolio is still up for decisions. What say you -- should Alfa bring its premium midsize sedan to compete against the likes of the 3 Series and the Acura TL?