New executive saloon will share a platform with the Dodge Charger and Chrysler 300C
28 September 2009

Alfa Romeo will likely manufacture a rear-wheel drive replacement for its defunct 166 executive saloon exclusively in North America, where most will be sold.

The plant, probably Chrysler’s Canadian Brampton 300C site, will also supply Europe with the car.

The new big Alfa, originally codenamed project 169, will share a brand new, Chrysler-developed platform planned for the next-generation 300C and Dodge Charger saloons, although the Alfa version will feature bespoke suspension and powertrains.

The development is a direct result of Fiat’s control of the Chrysler Group, the two companies now integrating their product development, manufacturing, purchasing and distribution processes.

Alfa is to collaborate closely with Dodge in future, this being the most sporting brand in the Chrysler portfolio. Fiat will be announcing its product plans for the Chrysler Group in more detail in mid-November.

The Chrysler/Dodge rear-drive platform could also provide the basis of a new Alfa Spider and Brera - in shortened form it provides the basis of the Challenger - although there is no confirmation of this, and the architecture may prove too large to suit European buyers.

But Alfa is believed to be exploring the return of the Spider, and possibly its mainstream coupe siblings, to a rear-wheel drive format.

Chrysler will in turn be taking three platforms from Fiat known as ‘A” (500, Panda), ‘B’ (Grande Punto) and ‘C’, the last being new and the basis for the 147-replacing Milano which debuts early next year.

The ‘C’ platform will be stretched to provide architecture for the new Giulia, which replaces the 159. In theory, the Giulia and Milano could also be manufactured in the US once Chrysler and Dodge are producing their own models on these platforms.

Richard Bremner

Join the debate

Comments
7

28 September 2009

"New Alfa 166 to be US-built"

"The plant, probably Chrysler’s Canadian Brampton 300C site..."

Did Obama buy Canada?


28 September 2009

Hopefully all these cars will be engineered in Right hand drive too

28 September 2009

[quote Mike 275]

"New Alfa 166 to be US-built"

"The plant, probably Chrysler’s Canadian Brampton 300C site..."

Did Obama buy Canada?

[/quote]

It's Brampton. Canada are trying to disown Brampton and Hamilton and pretend they belong to the US. Whereas really they're both just the massive "Greater Toronto" - which now encompasses about 95% of the Canadian population...

On a side note: a new platform for Chrysler is very much needed - they couldn't keep going with an ancient Merc platform under the 300C. If the new platform is decent and Fiat/Alfa experience can be used in the suspension set-up then the Dodge Charger may end up being the car it looks like it should be. I actually like the design, but they're appalling to drive.

Other pressing issues for Chrysler are:

1. Purchasing a proper 5/6 speed automatic gearbox for their entire range

2. Developing or purchasing decent in-line 4 cylinder engines. Fiat/Alfa's multi-air 1750 turbo would be an awesome choice to replace their low-end 2.7 V6. I'm sure there is a ~2000cc engine out there in the Fiat group for the rest of the "cheap" range.

3. Suspension engineers - Chrysler don't employ these. They need to!

4. Stop depending on the Dodge Ram! Pick-ups are not going to save you now.

5. Quality control to actually exist on the Caliber/Avenger/cheapy models.

28 September 2009

[quote Mike 275]Did Obama buy Canada?

[/quote]

No, but Marchionne did, Fiat's CEO.

Marchionne, to the chagrin of European Fiat and Alfa Romeo fans, will be naturally drawn to his Chrysler operations and more specifically the Canadian ones of the Chrysler company. Marchionne is at least as Canadian as he is Italian. His Italian parents emigrated to Toronto when he was 13. He lived there for half his 57 years.

As smart as he is I think this could spell trouble for the Italian-based Fiat Group. He's only human and is probably relishing and enjoying immensely being fully back in or near his old stomping grounds. He may find himself being sucked back into the North American way of life. Daimler Benz nearly ruined themselves trying to digest a then much larger Chrysler and largely failed. BMW failed trying to digest a much closer European company in Rover Group and nearly destroyed themselves whilst doing it.

With the US dollar headed long-term downwards the temptation will be to concentrate more and more production and resources into North America, even if the Canadian dollar doesn't fall in step.

28 September 2009

Given how stellar the 8C is, I am really hoping that the 166 will be unmistakenably Alfa and not a haphazzard model with a cheap interior made from the Chrysler parts bin.

I don't think having an Alfa built in Hamilton, let alone North America would be a hinderance. Mercedes' SUV models are built in Alabama, U.S.A., which happens to be the armpit of the country, and those models doesn't seem to suffer.

I have been waiting for Alfa Romeo to return to the North American market for a long time now and I hope Alfa makes a good effort in doing so.

28 September 2009

"New Alfa 166 to be US-built" or Canada-built : sad days.

The come back of the RWD : good news.

28 September 2009

[quote david RS]The come back of the RWD : good news.[/quote]

Indeed fantastic news, but they need to throw more that 50 pence worth of raw material at each car manufactured or we are going to see a repeat of the hateful Sebring/Avenger and a further rubbishing of the Alfa name.

Lets face it Mercedes oversaw the Sebring/Avenger disaster and they supposedly know about quality, what hope for FIAT?

Add your comment

Log in or register to post comments

Find an Autocar car review

Driven this week

  • Skoda-Karoq 2.0 TDI 4x4
    First Drive
    16 October 2017
    Diesel version of Skoda’s junior SUV is unobtrusive and undemanding, but we’d still go for the silkier petrol version of the Karoq
  • Audi Q7 e-tron
    First Drive
    16 October 2017
    Expensive and flawed but this understated diesel-electric Audi Q7 has a lot to offer
  • Citroën C3
    First Drive
    16 October 2017
    Is the third gen Citroën C3 ‘fresh and different’ enough to take on its supermini rivals? We spend six months with one to find out
  • BMW X3
    First Drive
    15 October 2017
    A satisfying rework of the X3 that usefully improves its handling, cabin finish, space and connectivity to make this BMW a class front-runner again
  • Vauxhall Insignia Country Tourer
    First Drive
    13 October 2017
    Off-road estate is now bigger, more spacious and available with torque-vectoring all-wheel drive, but is it enough to make its German rivals anxious?