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Alfa Romeo’s sedan plans to be revealed in June

Aiming high: Alfa Romeo is taking aim squarely at BMW’s mighty M3 with its new sedan to be revealed mid year (Alfa Gloria concept shown).

FCA execs talk a big game in Detroit about the rebirth of Alfa Romeo’s fortunes

Alfa Romeo logo20 Jan 2015

By TIM ROBSON

ALFA Romeo is set to launch a high-performance sedan that will take on BMW’s iconic M3 in June this year, marking the start of a sustained product assault that will continue all the way through until 2018.

The rear-wheel-drive sedan – as yet unnamed, but expected to be called the Giulia Cloverleaf – will be the first in a line of new products currently under development that will see new vehicles being rolled out every six to nine months for the next three years, according to Fiat Chrysler Automobiles CEO Sergio Marchionne.

Automotive News has reported that Mr Marchionne made reference to German rivals BMW and Mercedes-Benz when he told journalists he expected Alfa Romeo to once again “play with the big boys”, and that it wasn’t that long ago that the Germans “used to look at Alfa with envy.”

He also paid tribute to 800 engineers who are currently assigned to developing future Alfa Romeo product.

The sedan’s launch in Italy on June 24 will also mark the reveal of further details on Alfa Romeo’s future model plans, as it eyes large-scale expansion in the United States market for the first time since 1995.

The brand only returned to America for the first time in 19 years in November with the 4C, and it hopes that 150,000 of its predicted 400,000 sales in 2018 will come from the US. Just 91 4Cs were sold in America in November and December.

Details emerged late last year of a new 2.9-litre turbocharged V6 engine rated to 365kW – a derivative of the 3.0-litre powerplant in the Maserati Quattroporte – which is the most logical candidate to power the new sedan.

An eight-speed dual-clutch transmission and an electronic limited-slip rear diff is more than likely to make up the rest of the powertrain for the range-topper.

Weight-saving techniques from Fiat stablemates Ferrari – including access to cutting-edge carbon fibre and composite materials – are also expected to be widely utilised in the new car.

BMW’s M3 is powered by a twin-turbo straight six producing 317kW, and weighs 1560kg in DCT transmission form.

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