Alfa Romeo Plans Arrival of 4C for June

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The Alfa Romeo 4C has become an auto-industry punch line, a car whose ETA is in perpetual delay — sort of like the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration's backup-camera mandate. It looks like Alfa will beat NHTSA to the punch: The Detroit News reports that Maserati dealerships will sell the lightweight sports car in June 2014.

Alfa Romeo 4C: First Look

We'll believe it when we see it. Fiat first showed a 4C concept at the 2011 Geneva International Motor Show. A production version bowed two years later with U.S. sales promised sometime in 2013. That didn't happen, but at least this latest announcement keeps with the delay Fiat issued in September 2013. High-performing Fiat dealerships — some of which are standalone dealers, some of which are incorporated into Chrysler-Dodge-Jeep-Ram showrooms — will get the car, too, though exact timing remains elusive. Maserati and Alfa Romeo are two subsidiaries of the recently merged Fiat Chrysler Automobile.

By Kelsey Mays | February 26, 2014 | Comments (0)

Alfa Romeo 4C Delayed, Again

Alfa_4C

Alfa Romeo fans will have to wait nearly a year, at the earliest, before the brand re-enters U.S. showrooms. The Detroit News reports Alfa Romeo, a subsidiary of Italy's Fiat, will not bring the 4C — a sleek, two-seat sports car — to U.S. showrooms until spring 2014.

The announcement represents the latest delay for a brand that's been absent from U.S. showrooms for nearly 20 years. Fiat re-entered the U.S. market after taking an initial stake of then-moribund Chrysler in 2009, and CEO Sergio Marchionne said in 2010 that Alfa would return by 2012. In late 2011, Fiat delayed the brand's reintroduction to 2013, blaming Europe's shaky economy. A production 4C debuted in February 2013, and Fiat said at that time it would sell the car in the U.S. this year.

By Kelsey Mays | September 25, 2013 | Comments (2)

Alfa Romeo 4C: First Look

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  • Competes with: Porsche 911, Jaguar F-Type, Lotus Evora
  • Looks like: A smaller, sleeker version of Alfa's limited-production 8C Competizione
  • Drivetrain: Turbocharged 1.7-liter four-cylinder and dual-clutch automatic transmission; rear-wheel drive
  • Hits dealerships: Sometime in 2013

Alfa Romeo left the U.S. in 1995, but in 2009 Chrysler-Fiat CEO Sergio Marchionne promised the brand would return. At the time, Marchionne named four cars to arrive by 2013, but Chrysler-Fiat later scrubbed those plans as Europe's economy plunged into recession. Even as recently as January, Marchionne told reporters Alfa wasn't yet ready for its U.S. return.

The postponement was brief. Witness the production 4C, a mid-engine, rear-wheel-drive sports car based on the concept shown at the 2011 Geneva International Motor Show. It's the first of several new Alfas planned between now and 2016.

The two-seater will debut officially at the 2013 Geneva International Motor Show in March, and it arrives in the U.S. — presumably at Chrysler dealerships — sometime this year.

By Kelsey Mays | February 12, 2013 | Comments (3)

Chrysler-Fiat Plans 47 New or Updated Cars by End of 2016

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Chrysler-Fiat will introduce, redesign or update 47 cars over the next four years, the automaker said Wednesday in a financial presentation to analysts. Among them are six Alfa Romeos from Fiat's upscale European division, plus seven new Fiat-branded models. Chrysler also encompasses the Dodge, Jeep, Ram and SRT brands.

The pipeline goes well beyond what Fiat had planned when it took a government-brokered stake in Chrysler in 2009. In September 2012, the automaker unveiled 66 future models at a private dealer meeting in Las Vegas, and we don't know how many of these 47 cars overlap with those. At that meeting there were just two Alfas, however.

The new plan eliminates four Fiat-built cars — two Chryslers and two Dodges — and moves the timing back by one to three years on nine models. All told, there are 16 refreshes and 31 new cars between now and the end of 2016. We've already seen five of them — the refreshed Compass and Grand Cherokee, plus Fiat's new 500L and the Ram HD and chassis cabs — and an SRT Grand Cherokee is also in the works. That still leaves 42 to come. Naturally, all of this is subject to change. Chrysler-Fiat CEO Sergio Marchionne called the plan "a living document," the Detroit News reports.

Here's how it breaks down:

By Kelsey Mays | January 31, 2013 | Comments (7)

Chrysler CEO: Alfa Romeo to Return to U.S. With New 4C

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Chrysler-Fiat CEO Sergio Marchionne has announced that storied Italian luxury brand Alfa Romeo will indeed be returning to the U.S. market, arriving by year's end with the new 4C — a lightweight two-seat rear-wheel-drive, mid-engined sports car.

Speaking at a conference in Detroit last Friday, Marchionne contradicted statements he'd made earlier in the week in saying that the 4C and Alfa's return to the U.S. had been intentionally delayed so the company could focus on Maserati brand instead. "We're finalizing the car now, so it should be here by the end of the year," Marchionne said, according to the Detroit News. "It's ready in the sense of all the work with architecture and types of models."

By Aaron Bragman | January 21, 2013 | Comments (0)

Chrysler Gives Dealers Sneak Peek of 66 Future Cars

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Chrysler unveiled 66 cars in its product pipeline at a private dealer meeting Monday in Las Vegas, Reuters reports. One dealer said it "was like a lovefest" as representatives from some 2,600 global dealerships — the vast majority based in the U.S. — beheld a two-tiered stage of future products at the MGM Grand hotel.

Among the cars that dealers shared with Reuters:

  • A redesigned Chrysler 200 that departs from the current Sebring-derived 200. Dealers said it looks a lot like the 2013 Dodge Dart.
  • A subcompact Chrysler 100.
  • A subcompact Jeep crossover, plus redesigns of the Compass, Patriot and Liberty that follow styling cues of the current Grand Cherokee.
  • Two Alfa Romeo cars that Chrysler will sell in Fiat showrooms.

Chrysler officials wouldn't comment to Reuters on the story, but during the last closed-door dealer meeting about future products — in Florida in 2010 — the automaker unveiled the current 200 and Town & Country, along with the Jeep Patriot and Fiat 500. The reporting on that meeting turned out pretty accurate, so we're inclined to think these products are legit. We'll keep you posted as we learn more.

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By Kelsey Mays | September 11, 2012 | Comments (7)

Fiat and Mazda Team Up for New Roadster

Mazda MX-5 Spyder Concept

Fiat, the parent company of Chrysler, announced an alliance with Mazda to develop a rear-wheel-drive roadster, according to the Detroit News. The car is expected to be based on Mazda's MX-5 Miata and will be sold under the Mazda and Alfa Romeo brands.

The non-binding memorandum of understanding between the two carmakers, which was announced today, comes after Mazda's partnership with Ford fell apart. Mazda has been in the red the past four years, and earlier this year, the company said it was looking for an alliance partner to share development costs. Meanwhile, Fiat, along with other European carmakers, has been scrambling to cut costs and find partnerships as Europe's economy struggles.

"By partnering with Mazda, we will be cooperating with the recognized leader in compact rear-drive vehicle architectures in order to deliver an exciting and stylish roadster in the Alfa Romeo tradition," Chrysler and Fiat CEO Sergio Marchionne said in a statement. "We are appreciative of this collaboration with Mazda and look forward to maintaining a fruitful and continuous relationship."

At the SEMA show in November, Mazda showed off a Spyder concept of the MX-5 Miata (pictured above) and said some elements may be used in future production cars.

Final agreement is expected to be signed later this year, and production of the car is expected to start in Japan in 2015.

Fiat Announces Alliance With Mazda (Detroit News)

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By Dave Lee | May 23, 2012 | Comments (0)

Alfa Romeo Delays Return to America

Alfa Romeo MITO

The folks who are eagerly awaiting the return of Alfa Romeo – a premium Italian carmaker — to U.S. shores will have to wait a bit longer, according to a report from USA Today.

Fiat, parent company of Chrysler and Alfa Romeo, had planned on reintroducing the brand in the U.S. in 2012, but has delayed its plans till 2013.

The Italian automaker says the delay is related to uncertainty with the European economy.

Originally, the car company said it would come back here with three new models — a sedan and wagon both called the “Giulia” and a midsize SUV.

According to USA Today, Alfa has confirmed that the 4C, a lightweight rear-wheel sports coupe, is still slated for the U.S. It’s unknown what will happen to the rest of the models that Alfa said would come here, outlined below:

By Colin Bird | September 16, 2011 | Comments (3)

Alfa Romeo's Return to the U.S.

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Last fall, Fiat CEO Sergio Marchionne tacitly confirmed that Alfa Romeo will return to the U.S., and we predicted the models that could on sale here, which would slate above Chrysler products. At a presentation in Italy today, Marchionne confirmed the slate of Alfas headed stateside by 2012. We were right on all of them, however, two additional models were a bit unexpected.

Three new models — a midsize SUV and a sedan and wagon both called the Giulia — will lead the charge, according to the presentation. The Giulia will replace the current Alfa Romeo 159 sedan shown above.

The SUV will be based on a Chrysler product, possibly the Dodge Journey or new Jeep Grand Cherokee.

In 2013, Alfa will add a new four-door MiTo hatchback and a new Spider, which is a small convertible. They will be followed by a new Giulietta compact and larger SUV in 2014.

Alfa SUVs make sense as they’re more profitable than cars, but we’re not sure the U.S. needs another small convertible like the Spider. Chrysler’s last attempt, the German-bred Crossfire, was a dismal failure, and Audi’s TT roadster hasn’t sold well since a recent redesign.

All the dates are for European roll-out and often that means a delay of a few months before they go on sale in the U.S.

Check out the chart below from the Fiat presentation.

By David Thomas | April 21, 2010 | Comments (8)

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