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NeilB

New Alfa Sud?

6 posts in this topic

It's been given the green light. cool.gif

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Alfa Romeo will build a new entry-premium car to compete with the Mini Cooper S.

Alfa won approval for the design of the car, which is called the Junior, from parent Fiat Auto this month.

Alfa expects the reintroduction of a third mainstream model line to boost its annual global sales to 300,000. The loss-making Italian brand says it needs to sell 300,000 cars a year to break even financially.

The Junior will be a sporty, three-door hatchback. It will be based on the Fiat Grande Punto platform but have a different body.

Due by 2008, the Junior will become Alfa's new entry model, fitting below the lower-premium 147, which will be replaced in late 2008 by the larger 148.

Alfa wants to sell 60,000 to 80,000 units of the Junior a year. The brand's two larger platforms, which underpin the 148 and 159 (and related Brera coupe and Spider), are supposed to each generate 100,000 to 120,000 units a year.

The 300,000 unit goal is ambitious. Alfa sold 126,000 cars globally last year, down from 153,000 in 2004. Its all-time peak was 229,700 sales in 1989.

To make the Junior a hot, sporty model, Fiat Powertrain Technology is preparing a 230hp turbocharged and gasoline direct-injection version of its current 1.8-liter engine.

In normally aspirated form, the engine delivers 140hp in the Alfa GT.

The Junior's range-topping 230hp version will come with Alfa's Q2 part-time four-wheel-drive transmission system as standard equipment. Based on a central coupling device from Sweden's Haldex AB, the Q2 system transfers some torque to the real axle only when the front wheels are spinning. It is lighter, less expensive and has better fuel economy than a permanent 4wd system.

The Junior also will offer less powerful gasoline and diesel engines in versions with front-wheel drive.

Alfa Romeo is expected to build the Junior at Fiat Auto's Mirafiori plant in Turin. The Junior would share its assembly line with the Fiat Grande Punto, which started production there in late May.

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Pity its not the Sud saloon but then again SEAT already did that with the Leon. I have many fond memories of "fun" tongue.gif in my old Sud 1.5Ti laugh.gif

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I look forward to this car as well as the other mad 200bhp+ hot hatches fiat has planned. smile.gif

If they do base it on the punto platform i just hope they get rid of the GM bits for this model last thing it needs is vauxhall wheel stud pattens etc.

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