New RWD platform for Giulia (BMW 3-series size), new SUV (BMW X3 size), and new large sedan (BMW 5-series size).
'Young and foolish'
Marchionne has said he will "pull the plug" on his plan for Alfa or revisit targets if the first model does not take off. But he is confident of success, having personally tested the new car on the track and repeatedly sent engineers back to the drawing board over the past three years.
"I was a driver of German makes before I came to Fiat. I used to drive a BMW M5 when I was young and foolish ... With the new Alfa we are on par if not better," he said at a recent car show.
The Giulia will sit on Alfa’s new rear-wheel-/all-wheel-drive Giorgio platform and offer high-performance engines, including a Maserati-derived V-6.
The BMW 3 series rival is scheduled to arrive at European dealerships in February and March next year and in the U.S. a few months later. Alfa may add coupe and spider variants later.
Alfa will introduce newly developed high-performance engines on the sedan to compete better against BMW and Audi. The range-topping 510-hp V-6 gasoline engine with twin turbochargers has been re-engineered from an engine built by Ferrari for the Maserati Quattroporte and Ghibli sedans. The Giulia's core gasoline engine will be a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder available in outputs of 180 hp, 250 hp and 330 hp.
The top diesel will be a 3.0-liter V-6 currently offered by Jeep and Maserati that is sourced from VM Motori. VM Motori added a new four-valve per cylinder head and a second turbocharger to increase the Alfa version’s output to 340 hp from 275 hp. Alfa will also use a higher output variant of a revised 2.2-liter powerplant just introduced by Jeep and derived from Fiat Chrysler’s 2.0-liter diesel. The engine has a top output of 210 hp but also will be offered in more fuel-efficient 135-hp and 180-hp variants.
The Giulia will be the first volume Alfa brought to market since the Giulietta launched in 2010. An earlier Giulia was Alfa’s best-selling car in the 1960s and 1970s. Alfa parent Fiat Chrysler Automobiles needs the modern Giulia to have similar success to help end years of losses at the brand. FCA does not break out Alfa's financial results, but analysts say the brand has been a huge money loser for at least 10 years.