Marchionne: Alfa Romeo Will Return to U.S. On Time, Start with 4C and Crossover

Alfa Romeo had previously been slated to make its triumphant return to the U.S. market in 2012, and if Fiat-Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne has his way, the brand will make that goal — barely. The first two cars on tap for the brand’s full-fledged return to the North American market are an all-new compact crossover and the 4C sports coupe, the latter of which is expected to start arriving in U.S. dealerships at the very end of next year.

4C: First up is the 4C coupe, which was previewed by the 4C concept shown earlier this year at the Geneva Motor Show. Alfa Romeo has already teased that it will be showing some variant of the 4C next month at the Frankfurt Motor Show; with Automotive News reporting that the new coupe will go on sale in a year’s time, there is a very good chance that this will be a close-to-production version.

Speculation suggests the 4C will pack a 1.8-liter turbocharged I-4 (different from the 1.7-liter originally speculated for the car) producing 250 hp and sending power to the rear wheels. The 4C is expected to stay in relatively low production – only 5000 units produced per year worldwide – and to be priced around €40,000 ($57,000).

Compact Crossover: Starting production at the end of 2012 will be the long-rumored small crossover. It will be built at Fiat’s Mirafiori plant in Turin, and will share its underpinnings with the replacement for the Jeep Compass and Patriot. It will also be the first of a number of Chrysler and Alfa vehicles to ride on the new CUSW platform – standing for Compact U.S. Wide, the CUSW is a longer and wider version of Fiat’s new compact platform that debuted beneath theGiulietta. The crossover is expected to launch in the U.S. market sometime in mid-2013.

Subcompact: The original plan was to import a five-door version of the European-market MiTo hatchback, but those plans have now been scrapped for an all-new model that will be exported to North America. Not much else is known yet about the new model, other than to expect it to go on sale in the first half of 2013.

Giulia: Rounding out calendar year 2013 will be the long-awaited Giulia midsize sedan. Both the Giulia sedan and wagon will ride on a longer version of the CUSW and be offered with either front- or all-wheel drive. AN says to expect a late-2013 debut with a 2014 on-sale date; of course, that relies on Marchionne’s final sign-off on the design, something he has reportedly rejected three times already.

166 Replacement: Since discontinuing the slow-selling 166 in 2007, Alfa’s lineup has been devoid of a large sedan. ANreports that Alfa will stretch the CUSW platform to create a larger sedan to create a new range-topper for 2014. That car could be built in the U.S. and exported elsewhere.

Roadster: While still unconfirmed, Alfa is considering a new two-seat roadster, slated to go on sale in late-2013. According to AN, it could use a version of Chrysler’s rear-wheel drive LX platform (which underpins the Chrysler 300 and Dodge Charger and Challenger). If so, production could occur alongside its siblings in Brampton, Ontario, Canada.

Source: Automotive News (Subscription required)

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