Fiat is planning a major overhaul of its range and adding new models over the next three years - and they include a hot Alfa Giulietta and a heavily revised 500 for the US this year.
The US-market 500 will get a heavily modified platform, although the car’s bodyshell will stay the same. The US 500 will be built in Mexico, and its revised chassis has been designed to cut weight and improve the car’s dynamics.
To this end, the car will incorporate improvements recently introduced on the 500C. Fiat also said that the changes would improve refinement by reducing noise, vibration and harshness.
However, the European 500 won’t get the changes. Instead, Fiat will introduce the new platform with the next Panda early next year and on the next Lancia Ypsilon, due this year.
Fiat will then embark on a major upgrade of the B-platform, which is used by the Fiat Punto and Alfa Mito. Although recently facelifted, the Punto is in line for a more in-depth makeover. This could involve changing the rear suspension from the current torsion beam set-up to a more sophisticated multi-link arrangement. Fiat sources also suggest that the upgraded chassis will be engineered to take a hybrid drivetrain.
There will be a performance version of the new Giulietta, too. It’s unclear if the car will be badged as a GTA or a Cloverleaf, but it will be front-wheel drive and use the new 1750 TBi turbocharged petrol engine with Multiair. The car was previewed by a Giulietta at the Geneva show with this engine and Cloverleaf cosmetic upgrades and it will be good for 235bhp.
The range-topping Giulietta will use a development of Alfa’s Q2 electronic differential. It will also come with active dampers and Fiat’s new dual-clutch gearbox, which is due to be launched in April.
A Mito GTA looks unlikely, though. Development of the model was stopped last year when Fiat changed its priorities during the economic downturn and it may not be restarted, mainly because of the presence of the 168bhp Cloverleaf model.