4c's big brother - Alfa builds a true 3-series rival

Autocar are reporting Alfa Romeo still remains Fiat Group boss Sergio Marchionne pet project as further details of the Giulia are revealed ahead of styling and packaging selection ready for a 2014 launch.

The Giulia will be the first car launched in theall-new line up revival plan. The saloon, plus the mid-engined 4C sports car start delivery in 2014 followed by the mx5 based Spider in 2015

The Giulia name is not final for the £22,000 ($35,000) car starting with an entry-level 120bhp 1.4-litre version of the current MultiAir unit. Turbocharged petrol engines exclusive to the Alfa brand cut in higher up the price range including an update to the 1750 TBi unit and Fiat’s own diesel s for Europe at least.

Marchionne went on to say Alfa will also benefit from a range of engines that are not shared with other Fiat-branded cars mainly due to downsizing engine sizes under tighter emissions and economic pressure.

The Giulia will see a MultiAir version of Chrysler’s Pentastar petrol V6, though this engine may not make it to Europe. This would be a great pitty as the rorty alfa v6 has a massive fan base around the world. Four-wheel drive will be an option for the front driven Giulia helping the relaunch in North America snow belt.

The new car aims to match the Audi A4 and BMW 3-series in European compact executive sector worldwide. This market is still very healthy with Audi increasing market share in the worldwide downturn.

The key to the Giulia shares an updated version of the groups Compact platform that underpins the  current Giulietta/chrysler Dart platform, with a longer wheelbase and upgraded rear suspension. Fiat says 90% of the platform is made up of high-strength materials for rigidity meaning better steering and suspension control.

The car’s exterior design has caused problems amongst Fiat Group bosses, setting the tone for the large saloon and Spider to follow. A thinly disguised concept version of the final car is expected to be unveiled in Geneva for the final market testing.

Alfa are playing down the rumour that it will be built alongside the Dodge Dart at Chrysler’s plant Illinois. Italy is struggling financially so news now would not be popular.

Building the Giulia in Europe then shipping it to the US would undermine the economies of scale vital to the US relaunch. But BMW have proven a car can be seen as european and be made in the USA....