Mazda and Fiat, Alfa Romeo's parent company have signed a new Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for the development and manufacturing of a new roadster for the Mazda and Alfa Romeo brands based on Mazda's next-generation MX-5 rear-wheel-drive architecture.
Mazda and Fiat will develop two roadsters that will share the same basic platform, but their styling will be different. The Mazda and Alfa Romeo roadsters will each be powered by specific engines unique to each brand. Both roadsters will be built at Mazda's Hiroshima, Japan plant starting in 2015.
Autocar is reporting that Alfa Romeo will return to the U.S. with the unveiling of the production version of the mid-engined 4C sports car at the show. The 4C will spearhead Alfa's arrival. Autocar has also learned that the 4C will only be available with a dual-clutch transmission, unfortunately a manual will not be available. The 4C will also be powered by a 230 horsepower four-cylinder engine.
The first model from the Chrysler/ Fiat marriage, the 2013 Dodge Dart will be hitting showrooms soon, but that model is only the first of many. It's been previously reported that Chrysler is going to kill off the Dodge Avenger after its current run, so that the automaker can focus its efforts on the better selling Chrysler 200 sedan, but that may not be the case.
USA Today is reporting that Chrysler is working on all-new versions of the Chrysler 200 and Dodge Avenger, which will be based on the same Alfa Romeo platform that is the basis for the Dart. They are also reporting that the next Jeep Liberty and Compass models will also be built off the same platform in 2013.
Chrysler and Fiat CEO Sergio Marchionne recently stated about the new Jeeps, "It's gonna be a trail-rated, full-blooded Jeep that has its origins in the architecture of a sports car."
Marchionne also stated that Chrysler is thinking about a new small hatchback dubbed the "Chrysler 100." If it gets the green light, it will be sold in Europe under as a Lancia.
Lastly Marchionne claims that plans to bring Alfa Romeo back to the U.S. are still in the works. The models slated to come here will be lightweight and powered by a 1.8L engine with 300 horsepower.
Fiat has announced plans for a new 1.8L turbocharged engine for the Alfa Romeo brand. According to Fiat the new high-performance engine will employ direct-injection and turbocharging technologies to put out a peak 300 horsepower.
The first model to get the new 1.8L engine will be the Alfa Romeo 4C coupe that is slated to be released in mid-2013. We were given our first preview of the 4C at the Geneva Motor Show earlier this year. After the 4C, the engine will be used in Giulia midsize sedan and wagon. The exciting news is that the engine has been designed to be complaint with both Europe and the U.S. emissions standards.
Harald Wester, Fiat's chief technology officer and head of the Alfa Romeo and Maserati brands stated, "This is an extremely important step for Alfa Romeo, as we continue to reposition our brand and prepare it for global distribution. The United States remains our primary objective as we prepare for a 2013 introduction of our models."
Alfa Romeo unveiled the 4C concept at the Geneva Motor Show in March and the concept was brought to Frankfurt in a silver "fluid metal" exterior paint color. Up until now Alfa Romeo has given very little details about an eventual production version of the concept, although it was expected. We now know that the 4C will enter production in 2013.
Alfa Romeo CEO Harald Wester, stated at this week's Frankfurt Motor Show, "Light weight and efficiency, Italian style, advanced technology and vehicle dynamics are the core values that will lead Alfa Romeo in the future. This philosophy continues with the 4C, which represents our greatest advancements to date and is a precursor of future development.
The 4C concept is powered by a turbocharged 1.75L engine that puts out more than 200 horsepower. The concept has a top speed of 155 mph and reaches 0-62 mph in less than five seconds.
According to sources Alfa Romeo is planning on building 15,000 - 20,000 units over five years with another 5,000 - 10,000 units destined for Abarth. Pricing in Europe is expected to start at 45,000 Euros.
The original 4C Concept was unveiled in Geneva earlier this year. The biggest difference between the Alfa Romeo 4C concept that we saw earlier this year and the one we will see next month, is the new "fluid metal" exterior paint color that replaces the bright red from the original.
The 4C Concept is powered by a turbocharged 1.75L engine that puts out more than 200 horsepower. Thanks to the use of carbon fiber and aluminum, the concept only weighs around 1,800 pounds, can reach 0-62 mph in under five seconds and has a top speed of 155 mph.
The exciting part about the 4C Concept is that Alfa Romeo has already confirmed plans to build it and that it will eventually make it to the U.S. as well.
Alfa Romeo's return to the U.S. has been delayed again, with a full return now being pushed back until mid-2013 at the earliest. According to Automotive News, Fiat's CEO Sergio Marchionne now states that Alfa Romeo, which is owned by Fiat will not return until late 2012, with a full return coming in 2013.
Fiat left the U.S. in 1995, but in 2000 then Fiat CEO Paolo Cantarella stated that a new Alfa Spider would be sold here in 2003, which never happened. In 2002 that plan was delayed, which set off a series of delays, which brings us to present day. Now Alfa Romeo's return is being delayed due to the fact that Marchionne has rejected the design of the Guilia. Alfa Romeo has technically been back, since it's currently selling the Alfa Romeo 8C out of Maserati showrooms, but only 100 units have been sold, which is not really significant.
Alfa Romeo is expected to return first with a new compact crossover, followed by the Giulia sedan at the end of 2013.
Alfa Romeo unveiled the 4C Concept at the Geneva Motor Show earlier this year. The 4C sports car is expected to also lead Alfa Romeo's return to the US, which has now been pushed back to 2013. Now it's being rumored that Maserati wants a version of the Alfa Romeo 4C.
Maserati reportedly wants a small mid-engine two seater. As of right now the details are very scare...
The Alfa Romeo 4C Concept is powered by a 1.75 turbocharged four-cylinder that puts out 200 horsepower. The concept only weighs 1,800 pounds and can reach 0-62 mph in less than five seconds and has a top speed over 155 mph.
The new SUV is part of a plan to reposition Alfa Romeo as a competitor to Audi and BMW. Currently Alfa Romeo only has four models, the Mito, Giuletta and the 159 sedan and wagon. The 159 is set to be replaced by the Giulia in the beginning of 2013 and a five-door Mito and 4C sports car will also be released in 2013. In 2014 the Giuletta will get a facelift and an SUV based on the Jeep Grand Cherokee will also be added to the lineup.
The new Alfa Romeo SUV will be built at Fiat's Mirafiori plant in Turin in late 2012 alongside a new Jeep that will replace the Compass and Patriot SUVs. The SUV will be based on Fiat's Compact Plus Global Modular Architecture, which is an extended version of the Giuletta's platform.
And just in case you are wondering, it looks like Alfa Romeo's return to the U.S. has been pushed back to 2013.
Zagato has taken the wraps off the new TZ3 Stradale, a month after it was confirmed that the car was being developed. The TZ3 Stradale is part of a celebration by Zagato to celebrate the 100th anniversary of Alfa Romeo.
Since the TZ3 Stradale is meant to pay tribute to Alfa Romeo, you would think that it woudl largely be based on an Alfa model, but instead the TZ3 Stradale is actually based on the Dodge Viper ACR with a carbon fiber body. "Bellezza necessaria" is the inspiration of this car which matches for the first time an American power train with an Alfa Romeo.
The first TZ3 Stradale was delivered to the US Alfa Romeo and Zagato collector Eric King. The next two will are headed to Japan and Europe. After that there will only be six examples left, since only nine are being built.
Alfa Romeo's expected return to the US market has been delayed at least half a year. It was expected that the brand would return sometime in 2012 with the 4C sports car and Giulia sedan, but it looks like there is a delay because Fiat-Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne is not happy with the design of the cars.
According to the latest reports, Marchionne is mainly unhappy with the design of the Giulia, which is supposed to replace the Alfa Romeo 159 and be offered as a sedan and wagon. Marchionne is not happy with the design proposals for the Giulia, so the launch is being delayed from late 2012 to mid-2013. This delay will especially hurt Alfa Romeo in Europe, which desperately needs the new model.
Marchionne is also not happy with the Chrysler team that has been tasked with turning the Guilia into the replacements for the Chrysler 200 and Dodge Avenger, which are also due in 2013. All three models will share the same platform and powertrains.
Although the Giulia is being delayed, plans are still on track for a Alfa Romeo SUV that will be produced in late 2012 or early 2013. It will be based on the replacement for the Jeep Compass/ Patriot.
The 4C Concept is based on a new lightweight platform and has a total length around 13 feet plus a wheelbase that is less than 8 feet long. According to Alfa Romeo its dimensions emphasize the compact size of the car and also accentuate its agility.
The 4C Concept is powered by a 1.75L four-cylinder turbo that puts out 200 horsepower. Although 200 horsepower doesn't seem like a lot, the concept only weighs just over 1,800 pounds thanks to the use of carbon fiber and aluminum. It's lightweight means that the 4C can reach 0-62 mph in less than five seconds and has a top speed over 155 mph.
The 4C has already been confirmed for production, which will start next year.
The 2011 Alfa Romeo Guiletta has debuted at the Geneva Motor Show. The five-door hatchback features a new "Compact" architecture and will be available in five different models: two Quadrifoglio Verde versions fitted with the 235 HP 1750 TBi, two Distinctive versions with 170 HP 2.0 JTDM and a Distinctive version fitted with the 170 HP 1.4 MultiAir Turbo petrol.
The 2011 Alfa Romeo Guiletta will be available starting in May.
Pininfarina has released a teaser sketch of a new Alfa Romeo based spider convertible concept that will debut at the Geneva Motor Show in March. The two-seater is meant to commemorate Pininfarina's 80th anniversary and at the same time a homage to the Alfa Romeo 100th birthday.
This is reportedly the first of three concepts that Alfa Romeo commissioned for the show.
According to the latest reports, Fiat is going to merge the Alfa Romeo, Maserati and Abarth brands under one sport sub brand. Abarth and Maserati CEO Harald Wester has been appointed by Fiat as CEO of Alfa Romeo and will now head the three brands. Wester's new role will be to identify synergies between the three brands.
Currently his greatest challenge is going to be to fix Alfa Romeo. Fiat is currently undergoing a strategic review of Alfa Romeo. There are two options that Fiat could take, one is to freeze all development of new models and just focus on selling the MiTo and upcoming Giulietta; the other option is to share platforms with Chrysler for the 159 and 166 replacements.
At the Detroit motor show, Fiat CEO Sergio Marchionne told Autocar that several options were still available for Alfa.
"Alfa has been underperforming for a long time," he said. "It has been the most difficult part of Fiat's recovery, even though on paper it looks so attractive. The marque isn't for sale, or anything like that.
"It's our problem. But we do have to rethink our objectives and be realistic with ourselves before we do anything else.
"First, I want to see how well we do launching the Giulietta. From the technical point of view it's a huge step forward, but I want to see how it fares. And I want to see how we can take advantage of that through the company."
One of the more exciting things about the Fiat/ Chrysler tie up has been the possibility that Alfa Romeo would make a return to the US. Well it looks like we may have to wait a bit longer. Fiat/ Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne recently stated at the Detroit Auto Show that Alfa Romeo must prove that it has "a right to exist as a separate brand" before it is expanded beyond Europe. The original plans were to launch Alfa Romeo in the US in 2010, but according to Marchionne if Alfa doesn't make a good business case for it, it't not going to happen...
The plan is calling for the end of many of the Chrysler models that are currently in US showrooms. Many of the models will be replaced by vehicles from Fiat and Alfa Romeo.
Expect more details next week, but for now here's a list of what models we can expect to see either die or survive...
Small cars don't usually do that well in the US, wIth the exception of a few models such as the Honda Fit and Mini, many of the small cars sold here are not that great. Especially the current small cars from Detroit. Because of this many US car buyers stay away from the sector, which means tiny sales and even tinier profits for automakers. Alfa Romeo's MiTo would be a great competitor to the Mini, but CEO Sergio Cravero recently stated that the small Alfa may not be coming here.
"A preliminary product assessment for a sporty three-door small hatchback showed potential volumes in the U.S. right now are roughly 20,000 units a year," Cravero said. "That is not enough to make it a viable business case."
Of course this could all change if US car buyers start buying more small cars. In the meantime we will be getting a five-door mid-sized hatchback, named the Milano in 2011.
Industry analysts predict that by 2011 a Fiat-run Chrysler will look very different in the US. Many of Chrysler's under performing models will likely be nixed and replaced by Fiat sourced models and some will not be replaced.
Chrysler is expected to become more of a niche automaker. It's new lineup will not likely guarantee huge profits, according to some analysts, but the bankruptcy reorganization puts Chrysler in a position to be profitable.
The MiTo GTA is powered by a 240 horsepower turbocharged 1.8L engine. Engineers lowered the weight of the car by using carbon fiber for the roof, tailgate spoiler and mirror housings in addition to employing aluminum in the suspension. The ride height has also been lowered by 20 millimeters.
According to unnamed sources four of the vehicles will be sold under the Chrysler brand and three will either be Alfa Romeos or Fiats. The official plan that will be announced on April 30th involves four Fiat platforms, a minicar, a subcompact, a compact and a mid-sized sedan. Chrysler's plants in the US are being tasked with producing the vehicles. Chrysler's Toluca, Mexico plant, which currently builds the soon to be killed PT Cruiser is going to produce the Fiat 500.
According to the Automotive News, under the plan its expected that Chrysler dealers will get two minicars, the Fiat 500 and a Dodge or Chrysler branded vehicle based on the Fiat Panda.
The subcompact segment will see the introduction of the Alfa Romeo MiTo and another Chrysler or Dodge branded vehicle.
A new compact car based Fiat’s C-Evo platform will likely replace the Dodge Caliber.
Lastly a replacement for the under performing Chrysler Sebring and Dodge Avenger will be based on a stretched version of the C-Evo platform.
In case you are wondering what Fiat is going to get out of this deal, besides entry into the North American market, Fiat is going to sell the Dodge Journey and Dakota pickup in South America. In addition Fiat is going to use Chrysler's new Phoenix V6 engine in its own products.
The MiTo scored 462 points by automotive journalists in Europe and it beat out the Lancia Delta and new Ford Fiesta. The Ford Fiesta will be sold in the U.S. in 2010 and it's widely rumored that Alfa Romeo will make a U.S. return by 2011.