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Future models - Alfa Romeo - 149

Alfa secrets laid bare

Future form: Still two years away, the 149 will replace the current 147.

SUV draws near, plus new Junior, 149, 169 and more - all before 2011

12 Jul 2007

ALFA Romeo will build its first SUV in 2010 and has outlined performance figures, prices and arrival dates for this and a range of models which together are designed to almost double its global sales volume.

Alfa Romeo chief executive Antonio Baravalle divulged the previously well-guarded SUV plan at an automotive conference in London late last month, and outlined the Italian outfit’s model plans for the next four years.

These include the much-anticipated Junior compact car, which will go head-to-head with BMW’s Mini Cooper, and replacement models for the 147 hatch (to be called the 149) and the 166, which will be known as the 169.

The new cars are part of Alfa Romeo’s bold plan to nearly double its global sales from 157,000 in 2006 to 300,000 in 2010.

GoAuto has obtained a copy of the presentation Mr Baravalle made at the Morgan Stanley 10th Annual European Automotive Conference, which revealed that the SUV – dubbed the CXover – would be introduced early in 2010.

26 center imageFrom top: Official sketches of 149 (rear), 169, Junior (front and rear) and CXover (bottom).

It will be a five-door model, which Alfa describes as a cross between an SUV and a coupe, and will measure 4.6 metres from nose to tail, putting it in the company of compact SUVs such as the Volkswagen Tiguan, Land Rover Freelander and BMW X3.

Mr Baravalle was even prepared to speculate that the CXover range would run from 28,000 Euro ($A44,000) to 45,000 Euro ($A71,000).

In the meantime, the first of the new wave of all-new Alfa Romeo models will be the Junior, which will go on sale in Europe from around April next year.

Mr Baravalle said the swooping coupe, which is based on the Fiat Punto Grande, will be priced from 16,000 Euro ($A25,000) and have a series of engines with performance figures starting at 70kW in base form, running all the way through to a GTA version with 172kW on tap.

The next model in the Alfa plan is the replacement for the current 147 hatch, to be called the 149, which is slated to arrive in the third quarter of 2009.

Mr Baravalle said the all-important C-segment hatch would have a starting price of 28,000 Euro ($A44,000), which makes the car significantly more expensive than the existing model that starts off at $35,990 in Australia.

He said the engine output would range from 90kW in base form through to close to 200kW in a red-hot GTA model.

Alfa Romeo is also planning to release a revised 159 and Brera/Spider in the third quarter.

Shortly after Alfa Romeo joins the SUV world, it will introduce a new four-door prestige sedan that is expected to replace the ageing 166 in the second quarter of 2010.

The 169 will be 4.9m long and will cost between 40,000 Euro ($A63,000) and 55,000 Euro ($A87,000). No engine details were provided.

Mr Baravalle also revealed the target markets for its 2010 product line-up.

It is clear Alfa Romeo is hoping the new Junior model will live up to its name by targeting buyers from 18 to 30 years old, an age group the Italian brand is not currently reaching.

The 147 replacement will be aimed at owners ranging from 27 to 40, while the 159 will continue to appeal to customers ranging from 43 to 55.

It is hoped the Brera and Spider will cater for those aged between 36 and 55, while owners aged between 50 and 56 are targeted with the 169 sedan. Interestingly, the presentation did not cover any owners older than 56 years of age.

The introduction of the Junior and the CXover SUV are part of a plan to ease pressure on the 159 and 147, which combined represent 81.7 per cent of Alfa Romeo’s 2006 sales.

Mr Baravalle revealed his company was planning that those models would represent only 52.3 per cent of the company’s sales in 2010 after the introduction of the two important new additions - the Junior accounting for 23.1 per cent of sales and the CXover 13.8 per cent.

The new models are also part of a plan by Alfa Romeo to build its influence outside its traditionally strong home market and the rest of Europe.

While it has not locked in a date that it will start selling cars in the US, Alfa Romeo is calculating that American sales will account for 6.1 per cent of its overall tally in 2010.

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