Greek philosopher Heraclitus’ famous observation - “the only constant in life is change” - is continually affirmed by Alfa Romeo’s U.S. comeback plan, which may be delayed and substantially altered yet again if a new report proves accurate.
While previous reports have claimed that Alfa Romeo will return to the states (a move that's been in the works since 2000) in mid-2013, Car and Driver suggests that the automaker won’t be back in the U.S. until 2014. We’ll have to wait until Sergio Marchionne officially announces Alfa Romeo’s revised U.S. strategy on October 30 to find out if the C/D report is factual, but for now, here’s what it looks like the future will hold for the Italian automaker:
The first new Alfa to hit the U.S. market in 2014 will be the Audi A4-fighting Giulia sedan. C/D reports that it will ride on a variant of the front-wheel-drive Compact U.S. Wide (CUSW) architecture, which underpins the Dodge Dart and is essentially a lengthened version of the Giuletta compact’s platform. Earlier rumors had claimed that the car would be rear-wheel-drive.
A version of Alfa’s new 1.8-liter turbo four-cylinder with about 170 horsepower will be standard, while Chrysler’s Pentastar V6 and a diesel motor (!) will also be available. To help hold the line on costs, the Giulia will share components with the next Chrysler 200 and be built in the U.S.
Next up will be a compact crossover that will share a platform (likely CUSW) with the Jeep Compass/Patriot replacement. While little is known about this vehicle, it is believed that it will use Chrysler-sourced engines and look a bit like a four-door coupe on stilts. It will reportedly hit the market six months after the Giulia and be produced in the same Belvidere, Illinois plant that will screw together its Jeep platform-mate.
Following Alfa’s more mainstream offerings will be the long-awaited 4C coupe and convertible, which will launch in mid-to-late 2014, and the next-gen Mazda Miata-based roadster, which likely won’t show up until 2015 at the earliest.
Check back on October 30 for official details of Alfa Romeo’s revised U.S. comeback plan.