Currently reading: New Spider key to Alfa revival
Iconic Spider to be revived as part of product blitz aimed at saving Alfa Romeo
3 mins read
5 February 2010

A true replacement for the classic Alfa Romeo Spider is among a run of all-new models being prepared by the firm to secure its future and prevent it from being wound up in the year of its 100th anniversary.

Fiat Auto boss Sergio Marchionne placed Alfa on probation at the start of this year. Model plans have been put on ice, ahead of a review of the brand’s future in April.

See Autocar's artist's impression of the new Alfa Spider

Why Alfa is struggling

Unless Alfa Romeo bosses can convince Marchionne that they have a convincing forward product plan, the new Golf-sized Giulietta - which will be launched at the Geneva show in March - could be the last new Alfa model.

Alfa is seen as the most vulnerable brand in the new Fiat/Chrysler group because it has suffered consistent heavy losses for years and sold just 110,000 cars last year, almost half of what it sold in 2000.

Despite this, the company is not only pressing ahead with the Giulietta launch but is also planning a blitz of concept cars this year to demonstrate the brand’s potential.

As well as an all-new Spider, Alfa is said to be preparing conceptual replacements for the 159 saloon and Brera coupe. It is rumoured that Pininfarina will be responsible for the styling of the Spider, Bertone for the coupe and Giugiaro for the saloon.

It is thought that under Alfa’s original plans, the replacements for the Spider, Brera and 159 were to be based on Fiat’s new C-Evo platform, which also underpins the Giulietta. The Spider and coupe would share the standard-length platform with the Giulietta, while the 159 replacement would be based on a long-wheelbase version of the C-Evo.

All would get front-wheel drive (as well as the option of all-wheel drive) and a raft of turbocharged, four-cylinder Multiair engines, including the new 197bhp 1750 TBi unit that has just made its debut in the 159.

However, Alfa’s sudden move into partnership with Maserati and Abarth has thrown these plans into question.

Some sources say new Alfa boss Harald Wester is now investigating whether Fiat and Chrysler can develop a new rear-drive platform using base technology from Chrysler.

This would support a replacement for the Alfa 159 and 166, plus the next Chrysler 300C, Lancia Thesis and Dodge Charger and Challenger.

There’s also a possibility that any big Alfas could be built in the US at Chrysler factories and shipped back to Europe, allowing them to be particularly competitive on price.

The thinking is that a switch to rear-wheel drive would not only return Alfa to its sporting roots but also make a new 159 much more competitive in a market segment dominated by German marques. Fiat bosses are said to be wary of Alfa launching another ‘me too’ front-drive saloon after the relatively slow sales of the 159.

At the Detroit show last month, Marchionne admitted that Alfa has been “underperforming for a long time”, suggesting that Alfa was the thorniest problem in the whole Fiat/Chrysler portfolio.

“This year is make or break for Alfa,” he said. “We need to be realistic with what Alfa can and should do. It plays in a very difficult market because it has an ambition to go after higher-end German cars.


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“When you look at the execution [of Alfa’s product plans], it’s been relatively poor,” Marchionne added. He also made it clear that he thought Alfa had suffered from inconsistent management and too many fresh starts.

“We need to work a lot harder on Alfa to make an intelligent decision that effectively preserves the highest possible value to Fiat,” Marchionne said.

Hilton Holloway

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3 February 2010

If theres one name that never deserves to be consigned to the history books, its Alfa Romeo. That artists rendering, although admittedly it is pure conjecture, is very attractive, I particularly like the drooping bootline which harks back to the original Spiders.

3 February 2010

This is stunning.

The Spider has long been the Alfa model that makes most sense, as it's a uniquely beautiful and sexy thing in a way that its competition cannot rival.

This new car, if realised in production as it's rendered in these pictures, takes these qualities to new extremes. Should Alfa Romeo manage to manufacture a new Spider that retains these looks, it will become one of very few modern cars that are ostensibly art.

3 February 2010

Let's hope Alfa makes this new spyder simple n elegant..without all the expensive electronics to maintain and with bullet proof reliability plus sound details,

Long ago i owned the chopped spyder 2000 n later bought a new spyder with that ugly rubber rear boot spoiler. That newer car was totally disappointing n leaked water into the foot wells whenever there was a rain storm. It felt heavier n more cumbersome n too ''padded'' compared to me earlier rubber matted ''spartan'' car.

Other motorists would wave or have something to say about my car in traffic. One ''mate'' in a van commented pulled up beside me n said ''bet u pull a lot of birds in that'' .... Something about its looks n history n simplicity made it classis then during its lifetime.

So whatever this new model hopes to do....I sincerely hope its brings back that ALFA dolce vita mood which has been long lost ..even if its retro ..whatever the Alfa magic deserves to live on.

3 February 2010

Having Alfa "On Probation" all the time does not help, niether does the talk of no more new models.

I hope this latest management shuffle sticks

They have to build that Spider, if its anything like the picture, then it'll be the most beautifull of cars.

A work of art.

3 February 2010

The comments in this article just reinforce the belief that Sergio Marchionne just doesn't have a clue what Alfa Romeo is really all about, where it's come from and where it needs to go. And that really is sad.....

Alfa is the "most vulnerable" brand of the new Fiat/Chrysler group?? Really? What about Lancia? What about Chrysler??? Alfa Romeo still has HUGE untapped worldwide potential, not least in the US, but the marque has been mis managed for years and - yes - despite coming under Fiat's wing, the mismanagement has still gone on.

Think of all those Alfa managers and designers that have come and gone (who knows why?). All those new Alfa models that have never been quite good enough. Then look at something like BMW. Stable management, a clear vision of where to go, stellar brand strategy, consistent investment and cars that dynamically tick all the right enthusiast boxes (well, most of the time).

We've been saying for years that Alfa could - should - be an Italian BMW. Ever the optimist, I still believe it can get there, so long it is managed by people who really respect and understand what it stands for. Should that really be so hard?

So no, Mr Marchionne, don't even think about shutting Alfa down, It would be so wrong. Or if you are, just rebadge some Chryslers and that should do the trick nicely. .


3 February 2010

Lets hope alfa get the reliability up to scratch also the ride and handling up there with the best too, then they are on to a winner as an ex alfa owner i love the look of there cars but its the underneath bits that need sorting out along with the dealers!!!!

3 February 2010

ALFA!! build that car and you've got a new customer :o))

3 February 2010

[quote goodcarlover]Lets hope alfa get the reliability up to scratch [/quote]

I'm on my second Alfa in 5 years and never had any problems the dealers are better too.

In my experiance, they are as good as anyone now.

There are a lot of ex-owners who think things haven't moved on, but they have.

The mismanagement of the company is the biggest worry, they need direction before the Guilietta is launched, otherwise they'll be firing bullets at their feet again.

3 February 2010

Who are these Alfa bosses that need to convince Marchionne? There's no one left, all the Alfa people have either gone o were sacked years ago. See Kalbfell, Da Silva, Egger, De Meo, Baravalle and others before them. He is the only one in charge , he makes all the decisions that matters, he's been there now for over six years,infact he's killing Alfa. Sell it please before its too late

3 February 2010

When I hear big Sergio talking about Alfa brand it reminds me of Norman Bates in psyco, actually when he (Norman) thinks to be his mother and he(she?) is disappointed with the son (still himself)... Sergio! Alfa belongs to you, wake up!


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