The Giulia will be the first part of a plan to get Alfa Romeo back to producing sporty, rear-wheel drive cars. The company is promising a lot from this new model, saying that it will have a lot of innovate features as well as a return to form when it comes to driving experience.
The large US and Chinese markets are the main targets, and the saloon will be followed by an SUV in 2016 and a more rugged version of the Giulietta, called the Giulietta Cross.
The new Giulia is expected to be launched at the end of 2015.
“We’ve already gone public in Detroit that we’re working hard on the next phase of Alfa, and it’s a severe rethink of everything we’ve done,” said Fiat Group CEO Sergio Marchionne. “By the end of 2015 you will see cars that are representative of Alfas going forward.”
With prices expected to start from £22,000, the Giulia will be the first mainstream model launched under Alfa’s revival plan. Alongside the mid-engined 4C and reborn Spider (due 2015), all models intend to reinstate Alfa Romeo as a global premium brand.
Our exclusive images show how the compact exec could look, combining a distinctive shield grille with swept-back headlights, a flowing crease along the shoulder line and wraparound tail-lamps. It’s not as flamboyant as you’d expect, but buyers in this class aren’t looking for anything outrageous.
The engine line-up could tap into owner Fiat’s latest MultiAir technology, and should be among the most advanced in the class. As well as the 1.4-litre turbo unit from the Giulietta – with 118bhp or 168bhp – the Giulia could be offered with the 4C's powerful 1.75-litre turbo petrol.
Biggest sellers in the UK, however, are expected to be models fitted with the latest JTDm diesel powerplants. These range in output from 104bhp to 200bhp.
Bosses are aiming for a class-leading balance of ride and handling, and will introduce an Active Roll Control system. This tightens up the springs and dampers automatically through corners. What’s more, an optional two-mode Active Damping programme will enable the driver to tailor the trade-off between comfort and agility.
Completing the package will be the switchable DNA system already seen on the MiTo and Giulietta – this alters steering weight and throttle response.