24 March 2014

Alfa plans 7-model charge into premium segment

Alfa Romeo plans to challenge the BMW 3 Series with a sedan version of its Giulia, to be produced in 2017, writes Brian Byrne.

And a saloon version of the Alfetta to be produced a year later will aim to take sales from the 5 Series.

These are two of a planned series of seven new models that Fiat Chrysler Automobiles are readying for release between now and 2018. The list includes a compact and large SUV, according to reports from Germany in the AutoBild Magazine.

Fiat has owned Alfa Romeo since 1986. It's a lossmaker for the group, but plans to increase production and sales five-fold are designed to make it a premium profit centre for FCA.

The new 4C coupe is one of the new breed of cars from the brand, which will sell for a high price in local and global markets. Just 3,500 units of the small 2-seater will be built each year, and there's already serious levels of interest expressed at a global level.

The car's body is carbon-fibre, making it light but very strong, and power is from a new 1750cc all aluminium engine with a semi-automatic transmission.

A 4.5sec sprint to 100 km/h is possible, thanks to 240hp turbocharging from the engine. CO2 emissions are rated at 157g/km.