Sergio Marchionne says Alfa will return to producing good looking rear-wheel-drive cars over the coming years

The next generation of Alfa Romeos, set to finally be outlined in May, will return the company to its roots by being rear-wheel-drive, lightweight, good looking and powerful, the boss of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles revealed at the Geneva motor show.

Sergio Marchionne said he hopes the first of the next-gen Alfas will be in production by the end of 2015.

"We need to go back to what Alfa was known for," said Marchionne. "Alfa never had front-wheel drive until Fiat turned up.

"In its history it was known for rear-wheel drive, lightweight, good looks, powerful, a unique power-to-weight ratio, exceptional performance and truly good looks.

"We need to go back and rethink these and what made them unique. We need to make Alfas relevant again."

Marchionne said there was "a big chunk of engineers" working on a new architecture and powertrains for Alfa and "it should not be underestimated the work that is going on" with the Alfa Romeo relaunch.

Significant progress has even been made since January, Marchionne said, and the plan was a global one that would see Alfa relaunched in the US.

A European launch for the new Alfas would follow a launch in North America and China – markets that Marchionne considers most important for the new Alfas.

"I need to convince you that we have learned from past mistakes with Alfa and the next phase will be right. Not just my mistakes, but those of my forerunners," said Marchionne.

Read more Geneva motor show news.

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Comments
4

4 March 2014
At last a CEO is trying to address the problems at Alfa Romeo, a brand loved by many, but bought by too few. Unfortunately with products that have not been near what the brand stands or stood for and not competitive with the offerings from their peers in the industry. So fingers crossed that the intention to right those wrongs and offer real Alfa Romeos will lead to the success that this brand deserves.

4 March 2014
At last, are those TVR-rejects that spoil the face of the 4C hardtop finally for the chop....??? Has Sig. Marchionne found some extra funds down the back of the Fiat sofa and bought some proper headlights ? Incrociamo le dite :-)

BertoniBertone

5 March 2014
Okay, so Sergio Marchionne says "we need to go back to what Alfa was known for - Alfa never had front-wheel drive until Fiat turned up."

Well, if I'm wrong by all means correct me, but the front-wheel drive Alfa Romeo Alfasud was launched in 1972 and Fiat only bought Alfa Romeo from the Italian Government's holding company, Istituto per la Ricostruzione Industriale (IRI), in 1986.

I suspect that, like me, many Alfisti first fell in love with the Alfa Romeo marque as a result of owning an Alfasud...

5 March 2014
Rear drive Alfas. A return to the glory days of the Alfa 6, or the 90. So many failures to choose from, so little time to get Alfa sorted. Or will they manage to do what they did to Lancia, too little too late until all brand equity and marque value is gone.

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