The brand may be under review, but Alfa Romeo is reportedly still considering an all-new roadster, patterned after its original (and beloved) Spider.
According to Autocar, Alfa insiders believe a new model patterned after the 1966 “Duetto” could help bolster sales in these trying times, helping provide the brand with some fresh product. Other rumored new products include replacements for the 159 sedan, Brera coupe, and a new 166 based off a rear-wheel-drive platform designed with Chrysler.
Parent company Fiat has placed Alfa -- "seen as the most vulnerable brand," as Autocar describes it -- under review. Boss Sergio Marchionne has not been clandestine about his feelings, saying recently, "Alfa has been underperforming in Europe for a long period," and that "this year is make or break for Alfa." The brand's sales numbers have declined steadily, from 207,000 in 2001 to 110,000 units last year. Reportedly, Alfa chief Harald Wester is considering a rear-drive platform shared with Chrysler. Such a platform could be shared with a line of Fiats and the next Dodge Charger and Challenger. Autocar also indicates it may be less expensive for the cars to be produced in the U.S. and exported. For now, Alfa's hopes rest on the current MiTo three-door hatchback and the upcoming five-door Giulietta, which replaces the 147. The attractive GTI-sized Giulietta, as we've reported, uses an all-new platform that incorporates both steel and aluminum, and it will give European buyers the option of four turbocharged engine options at launch -- two gasoline and two diesel. The former are two 1.4L four-cylinders that make 120 hp or 170 hp. Diesel options will consist of a 105 hp, 1.6L I-4 and a 170 hp, 2.0L I-4. Look for the Giulietta to debut at the 2010 Geneva Motor Show in March, and more information on the future of the Alfa Romeo brand to emerge around the same time.