4c Delays

Automotive News are reporting the latest delays in the Market re-entry to the U.S. They point the finger of blame at parent Fiat and their struggles with the turbulent european economy.

While Fiat and Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne has done a great job of keeping the 4c in the news through updates and announcing the feasibility study on a convertible version but the latest talk is less glamourous.  He had originally hoped that Alfa Romeo would launch the 4C in the U.S. this year, then attacking the American market in earnest in mid-2013 with a crossover and a mid-size sedan/saloon.

As reported here previously a quiet delay has been creeping in and the production spec 4C won’t even be shown until the Detroit auto show in January 2013. Most other new Alfas won’t arrive in the US until 2014 or later and even starting to sound a little "if at all". For us Europeans we need to remember the states will get the 4c first, so this news effects us greatly...

Further details are revealed about the 2014 Giulia 159 replacement. It will be built in the U.S. on a version of the CUSW chassis used for the 2013 Dodge Dart/Chrysler 200. We’ve previously reported the Giulia could use a 3.2-liter version of Chrysler’s Pentastar V-6 upgraded with Fiat’s  MultAir technology. Now Automotive News suggests a 3.6-liter version of that engine also with a nine-speed ZF automatic transmission.

Alfa Romeo have also reportedly canceled plans to bring a version of the next-generation MiTo to America. Development of that model in Europe was killed because a faltering economy forced Marchionne to delay the redesign project. Alfa also has canned plans to bring the Giulietta hatchback here, as meeting regulations would be too costly. However, the next-generation Giulietta might be designed from the outset for sale both in Europe and America.

They go on to talk of canceled plans for a large 166 sedan that was supposed to launch in 2014. Plans for a compact crossover, built in Turin,  have also been shelved.

The dream of a VW rivalling all bases covered range seems all but dead.

However Alfa Romeo is still planning to launch a midsize SUV that will be based on the next Jeep Liberty. the Jeep version will launch next year, while the Alfa will go on sale in 2014.  a prototype of the next Jeep Liberty appeared to use a variety of Alfa Romeo parts seemingly sporting a turbocharged engine.

The new Alfa Romeo Spider is due on time in 2015 based on the next gen Mazda MX-5. Alfa’s version will  use a 200-hp version of the turbo-four engine do as no to interfere with the Alfa Romeo 4C.

The bottom line is clear: Alfa Romeo will return to the U.S., but it will be a long and awkward process....