19 December 2003

The Alfa 147 will be facelifted at the end of 2005. Sources within Alfa’s Centro Stile claim the front and rear ends are brought into line with the new look first seen on Giugiaro’s Brera concept coupé (pictured right), the model that serves as visual inspiration for all the next generation of mainstream Alfas.

Mechanically, the facelifted 147 follows the lead of the new 157 and will adopt two new direct-injection petrol fours (based on GM’s L850 four-cylinder units) as well as Alfa’s new V6.

But work has already begun on the replacement model, due in 2007. Project 940– also known as Middle Platform – provides the basis for the 148 and Kamal crossoverSUV (project 921), currently set for launch in the second half of 2006.

Alfa showed off the Kamal as a concept at this year’s Geneva show and, apart from minor detail styling changes, Wolfgang Egger, who heads the Centro Stile department, says the production and concept models are virtually interchangeable.

Alfa’s target is the X3, but insiders claim the Italian is even more car-like to drive, an objective that’s helped by the development team’s belief that it can meet its 1500kg target weight, 260kg below that of its German rival.

Mixing a combination of components from the Premium platform and the Fiat Stilo means that both the 148 hatch and Kamal SUV will feature double-wishbone front suspension and MacPherson D C rear struts, together with all-new steel structures.

Front- and all-wheel drive are planned for both models, with a range-topping 290bhp Autodelta-developed V6 variant replacing the existing 147 GTA.

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