March 25, 2014
When Alfa Romeo arrives at the New York International Auto Show next month, there could be lots of news
Alfa Romeo hasn’t had a significant presence in North America for a number of years. Except for the 8C – one of the most beautiful cars ever to come out of Italy – Alfa hasn’t sold a car in the United States since 1995.
The newly formed Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA), under the leadership of Sergio Marchionne, is planning to bring the marque back to North America starting with the 4C. The company won’t be resting on its laurels though, as they do plan to give the car significant upgrades each year, with the possibility of a more hardcore offering later on.
According to Top Gear, the updates are meant to keep “enthusiasm alive” in their new sporty mid-engine car, giving it a lifespan of four or five years. A representative for the company also didn’t rule out a more hardcore ‘RS’ model to join the range.
The 4C is expected to be shown next month in New York and the production Alfa Romeo 4C Spider is due to go on sale in late 2014 in Europe.
Alfa cannot depend on a sports car alone to give them success in North America, and Marchionne is expected to announce a full product plan for the brand in May. In the meantime, many outlets have been quoting inside sources on the future range of vehicles for the brand.
Autocar spoke to one source who gave a few details, including a future SUV to be named Giulietta Cross, and a 159 replacement to receive the Giulia nameplate. The Giulietta Cross is expected to be paired with a future Jeep model and will be the next newly available Alfa. There’s also been rumours of a larger SUV in the works.
What was once supposed to be the MX-5 based Alfa Romeo Duetto will probably be sold as a Fiat or Abarth branded car. This is due to all future Alfa’s expecting to be “built in Italy” and marketed as such. The tie up with Mazda, while producing a unique product from the MX-5, will be built in Japan.
While no official announcement is expected on Alfa’s future plans until May 6, the New York International Auto Show could prove to be an interesting forum for the brand to tease bits of their future offerings.
Mazda is expected to either show a chassis of the next generation MX-5 or a full vehicle. If that’s the case, FCA could do the same with the Duetto (or whatever FCA plans to call it).
Regardless of future plan announcements, Sergio has announced plans for Alfa in the past with very little ever coming out of them. So, until we actually see some of this Italian metal hitting our shores, consider us unimpressed.