Full details of Alfa's Golf-chasing hatchback - Giulietta name confirmed
2 December 2009

Alfa Romeo is to celebrate its 2010 centenary year by launching an all-new, five-door Volkswagen Golf chaser. Company bosses believe it could become the best-selling Alfa in history.

The car replaces the 147 and has been through three name changes already. Originally called 148, it was then renamed Milano. That name has now been changed due to pressure from Alfa workers in the firm's home city of Milan, who are unhappy with the use of the name following Alfa's decision to relocate to Turin. The firm has now settled on calling it Giulietta.

See the official Alfa Romeo Giulietta pics

Alfa's future under review

Alfa plans to launch the Giulietta in Italy in late March. The UK launch will coincide with the Goodwood Festival of Speed in June, where Alfa Romeo will be the featured marque.

The car will be made as a five-door only. It features a Golf-sized rear compartment but a coupe-like roofline and disguised rear door handles (as used on the 147) to enhance its sporting credentials. The shape draws obvious influence from both the outgoing 147 and the new Mito supermini, but it looks more modern than either.

It has the most striking three-dimensional version of Alfa’s shield grille yet, supported by two prominent lower lateral air intakes. The muscular sculpting of the body sides leads to prominent rear haunches, with twin exhausts and a diffuser beneath a rear panel whose LED tail-lights echo shapes pioneered in the 156.

Suspension is MacPherson struts at the front and a new multi-link design at the rear.

Inside, the Giulietta echoes the twin-binnacle, driver-oriented fascia design that Alfas have traditionally used, but with the familiar centre stack replaced with a simplified, lateral panel. The interior uses novel trim textures and body-coloured metal to signify a change from Alfa traditions.

At 4.35m in length, the car is 130mm longer than the Golf or the 147. The 2.63m wheelbase is about 50mm longer than the Golf’s or 147’s, and although its extra length makes it look low, it is 50mm higher than the car it replaces.

Alfa engineers say rear seat space and boot capacity are “the same or bigger” than a Golf’s and that the overall weight is “a little bit heavier” than a comparable 147’s, even though the body-in-white is lighter.

Buyers will be offered three different designs of 16in, 17in and 18in wheel - a thick-spoke design, a multi-spoke and Alfa’s familiar ‘telephone dial’ design.

A range of the Fiat Group’s transversely mounted four-cylinder diesel and petrol engines, all turbocharged, will drive the front wheels, ranging from a 120bhp 1.4-litre petrol to a 170bhp 2.0-litre diesel. Later next year there will be a 230bhp Cloverleaf model.

All Giuliettas will eventually be available with Fiat’s Multiair electro-hydraulic valve actuation. And all get automatic stop-start as standard.

The line-up will feature five and six-speed manual gearboxes, but Fiat is working on a semi-auto twin-clutch alternative. The cars will get Alfa’s DNA suspension and engine settings system.

Alfa’s production targets for the car are aggressive. It aims to make as many as 100,000 cars a year when the model has been launched in all markets, against a predicted Mito volume of 60,000-plus.

After a lengthy spell in the doldrums, Alfa’s volume is tipped to rise from 107,000 units in 2007 to about 115,000 this year and about 140,000 in 2010, with further expansion after that if the car gets off to a good start. Alfa officials say it is too early to forecast pricing but emphasise the fact that, like that of the Mito, it will be very competitive.

Steve Cropley

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Our Verdict

Alfa Romeo Giulietta

The Alfa Romeo Giulietta has its flaws, but its dynamic capabilities and stylish looks are enough to keep it in contention

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Comments
32

2 December 2009

From the one picture they have provided, it looks class best in regards to aesthetics.

2 December 2009

This car looks Excellent! Everything is there for it to be class leader! It needs to be priced right, have class leading chassis, power, fuel economy and run cleaner then the others in order to lead! They can do it!!!!!!!!!!! This is a STUNNING car!

2 December 2009

Looks ace... What a last two weeks new 5 series, A8 and now this

2 December 2009

That looks absolutly fantastic!

2 December 2009

I just can't get to like it. It probably comes from the slab-sidedness of the design (emphasised by the roofline ?).

Also, I notice that for the moment there are no full-on side pictures, which means that there is no way of judging how massive the front overhang will be. And that. for me. is a real deal breaker.

Last point : what is the use of making a "compact car" 4.35 metres long ? That's not compact anymore, not by a long shot. That's only 20 cms less in length than a 406 - not what anyone would call a short car.

I really want to like this, but honestly I prefer the 147 for the moment.

2 December 2009

-its fantastic, what an beautiful car! - well done Alfa - it is a totally beautiful car!

-i cannot wait to see one on the road - it is totally beautiful.

2 December 2009

I like it. But...then I am totally biased. Wow, 1 whole photo? They really excelled themselves here didn't they? Its not even as good an angle of the car as the leaked factory shots from earlier in the year.

The mismanagement of the launch of this car is annoying me now. First it was delayed. Then there are rumours that the workers want the name changed. So the fact that its not wearing a number plate indicating a name really doesn't impress either. It just proves that the rumours about the whole naming fiasco are true. Milano was a good name. It was linked with Alfa's heritage in terms of the old badge and the 75 which was called Milano in some markets. You'd never find BMW launching a car with no name and lets face it, this is who Alfa Romeo are trying to match in many regards. Its a ridiculous state of affairs. The workers in Milan are being blamed, but how much does the CEO have to do with this? Has he stepped in to stop the name Milano being used? Perhaps he should call it the Alfa Romeo 'Detroit' instead; in line with his current thinking. It strikes me as unlikely that they would change a name at the last minute due to complaints from some workers. How much money would that cost in terms of promotional and press material being reprinted?

Alfa Romeo seriously need to sort themselves out before they lose any more customers.

2 December 2009

one photo, oh Alfa why do you tease us so!!!! It looks gorgeous, i'm a life long Alfa fan & i can't wait to see this up close n personal!

2 December 2009

Dumpy and with an ugly face.

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