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Future models - Alfa Romeo - Giulietta

First look: Alfa unveils the all-new Giulietta

New car, old name: Alfa Romeo has reached back into history for the name of its newest model, the Giulietta.

Alfa Romeo reveals first details of its 147-replacing small car ahead of 2010 launch

Alfa Romeo logo3 Dec 2009

By TERRY MARTIN

ALFA Romeo has unveiled the much-anticipated all-new Giulietta small car ahead of its world debut at the Geneva motor show in March.

The model that succeeds the 147, and which was known as the Milano before protests from Alfa Romeo workers in Milan (who objected to the name after the Italian firm relocated to Turin) are understood to have forced a name change, the Giulietta brings a famous nameplate to the fore and is set to resurrect the brand’s fortunes in the ultra-competitive prestige small-car segment.

Due on sale in Australia in the final quarter of 2010 – Alfa’s centenary year – the Giulietta is built on an all-new platform (to be shared with Chrysler) that is “designed to meet the expectations of the most demanding customers in terms of roadholding, agility and safety”.

Also destined for the next Fiat Bravo/Ritmo, this platform brings with it a new front strut/multi-link rear suspension (replacing the 147’s front double-wishbone/rear MacPherson strut arrangement), a “next-generation” steering system and a “rigid yet light structure made of aluminium and high-strength steel”.

‘Alfa DNA’ onboard electrics will be fitted standard across the range, allowing the driver to switch between Dynamic, Normal and All Weather modes that change the characteristics of the engine, steering, ESC/VDC stability control and Q2 electronic differential.

Dynamic Steering Torque (DST) will also be standard across the Giulietta range, which Alfa has this week promised will come with “the most sophisticated electronic systems for dynamic control” and will also score a maximum five-star crash-test rating from the European NCAP regime.

26 center imageLeft: Alfa Romeo Giulietta. Below: 1954 Alfa Romeo Giulietta Sprint.

Four turbocharged engines meeting the Euro 5 emissions standard and featuring Start&Stop idle-stop will be offered in Europe at launch, with Alfa Romeo Australia advising GoAuto that the 127kW 1.4-litre TB MultiAir turbo-petrol is a “definite” starter, with “all other powertrains still being evaluated at this stage”.

These include a 90kW 1.4 TB turbo-petrol (as seen on the smaller MiTo) and two second-generation JTDM common-rail turbo-diesels – a 78kW 1.6-litre unit and 127kW 2.0-litre version – while following soon after will be a Quadrifoglio Verde (four-leafed clover) hot-hatch version complete with 175kW 1750 TBi turbo-petrol.

The front-drive Giulietta will be restricted to a five-door model – remaining clear of the MiTo – and rests on 2630mm wheelbase, 84mm longer than the current 147.

The Giulietta measures 4350mm long, 1800mm wide and 1460mm high – longer than the model it replaces, but higher, too, a fact that is well disguised by the longer and sleeker proportions but which enables a more spacious interior.

Alfa is still to provide specifics on the latter, although it has revealed that maximum luggage volume will increase from 292 litres in the 147 to 350 litres in Giulietta.

The exterior design has a strong correlation with the current model – and continues with concealed rear doorhandles, which give it a three-door feel – but draws from the MiTo and, according to Alfa, the 8C Competizione supercar.

The front-end features a new interpretation of Alfa’s trademark shield grille, set into the front bumper and suspended between the two air intakes. Daytime running lights are a further feature of the Giulietta face, while both the front and rear light clusters include LEDs.

Alfa claims the cabin has “painstaking attention to detail” and an abundance of premium materials, with design features including a “horizontally developed dashboard” with aluminium accents, and switchgear which “explicitly recalls” the 8C Competizione.

“The Alfa Romeo Giulietta is expected to give new impetus to the brand in one of Europe’s most important segments,” the company said.

“In its centenary year, the name is both a tribute to an automobile heritage and to Alfa Romeo itself. The Giulietta is a car that, in the 1950s, caught the imagination of generations of car enthusiasts, fulfilling their dreams of owning an Alfa Romeo, and making its high level of comfort and technical excellence accessible for the first time.

“Now, the Alfa Romeo Style Centre has produced a new Giulietta, a sporting car capable of expressing both great agility on the most demanding routes, and providing comfort on everyday roads.”

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