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Future models - Alfa Romeo - Milano

Alfa back on the rise

American dream: Alfa is rumoured to be pressing ahead with a compact SUV based on the Kamal concept car.

147-replacing Milano to lead Alfa Romeo’s next growth phase from 2010

10 Jul 2009

ALFA Romeo Australia is relying on new models to boost sales in the next few years, starting with the Milano, which is expected to debut at the Frankfurt motor show in September or the Geneva show next March.

Milano carries through the style of the recently-launched MiTo in a five-door form and will go into production in the first half of next year as a replacement for the 147, with an Australian launch likely in late 2010.

Later in 2011 we should get the new 159 replacement, which will revive the historic Giulia name as the company moves away from numeric model names. It will go into left-hand drive production in September 2010, but initially only with a manual gearbox.

In 2012, expect to finally see a replacement for the company’s 166 flagship saloon that is no longer sold in Australia, currently known internally as the 169 until it gets its new non-numeric moniker.

With Alfa Romeo returning to the United States soon, the Italian car-maker will almost certainly need an SUV or two, so we can also reasonably expect a compact SUV to go into production in the near future, probably based on the Kamal concept vehicle that appeared as long ago as the 2003 Geneva motor show.

While these programs appear to have been locked-in, parent company Fiat’s new alliance with Chrysler in the US will inevitably play a large role in Alfa’s future model line-up and could spawn a larger SUV based on an American platform.

All these new vehicles will continue the company’s new design language, which is based on the low-volume 8C Competizione that is not sold here but which was the inspiration for the recently-launched MiTo.

MiTo will be expanded “as soon as possible” to include the hot GTA version with 180kW from a turbocharged 1.7-litre petrol engine, perhaps late this year or in early 2010.

26 center imageLeft: Alfa Romeo Visconti concept. Below: Alfa MiTo GTA concept.

Alfa Romeo Australia last year sold only 1203 vehicles – down 35.5 per cent on the previous year’s 1866 – and company general manager Edward Butler told GoAuto that he hopes the MiTo will arrest a further drop of 18.5 per cent in the first half of this year, giving the company a result of 1350-1400.

Mr Butler, who has seen a sales upturn in the three months since he added Alfa to his Maserati responsibilities, said the brand needs sales of at least 150 units a month to be profitable and has set a target of a minimum 200 a month in 2010.

In fact, the company has projected sales of 1750 units next year, made up of 600 MiTo (40 per cent base model, 60 per cent Sport), 240 sales of 147 in run-out mode, 720 units of 159 and a combined 190 for the sporty trio of Brera, Spider and GT.

The Kamal SUV – which apparently uses the project name CXover – will apparently be built on the same platform used for the 159, Spider and Brera, which was also developed in conjunction with Saab and Opel/Vauxhall.

Alfa previewed the new 169 saloon with the coupe-style Visconti concept car, which was designed by Giorgetto Giugiaro and debuted way back in 2004 at the Geneva motor show, powered by a twin-turbo 3.2-litre V6 driving all four wheels.

“Alfa Romeo is a marque that made a strong impression on my design career,” said Mr Giugiaro when the Visconti was revealed, recalling that his ItalDesign company was created for the Alfasud program.

“For the (Visconti), I decided to provide the shape that I felt more fitting for an Alfa Romeo flagship – not a traditional four-door, three-box sedan, but an almost two-volume grand sportscar, with a downward sloping tail-end.”

What’s coming from Alfa Romeo:

MiTo GTA - Early 2010
Milano (149 replacement) - Late 2010
Kamal compact SUV - 2011
Giulia (159 replacement) - 2nd half 2011
169 saloon - 2012
Full-size SUV - 2013

Read more:

First drive: Alfa delivers Italy's newest baby

Alfa MiTo turbos for Oz

First look: GTA go for Alfa MiTo

First look: Alfa Romeo muscles in on Mini

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