Five new Alfas on the horizon
Leaked Alfa Romeo product plans have revealed five new models are on the way, the first as early as 2013.
According to Auto Express, the Italian firm renowned for its stunning designs and less than stunning reliability is set to add an SUV, an all-new Spider, a compact executive saloon and a 300C-based flagship saloon to its line-up.
But the drop-dead gorgeous two-seater 4C, first seen at the Geneva Motor Show in March, will land first with a launch rumoured in 2013.
Thanks to a hi-tech carbon fibre chassis keeping weight down to 850kg and the potential of 300bhp on tap, the 4C has the makings of a proper old-school Alfa too: beautifully designed and fast, but hopefully without the woeful reliability.
At £40k, the Porsche Cayman and the BMW 1 Series are going to be in for some stiff competition.
Following the 4C will be a Jeep-based off-roader. It'll be new territory for Alfa so sharing the Grand Cherokee's platform could prove a smart move for the Italian firm in testing the water for an Alfa SUV.
Don't expect it to be a Porsche Cayenne eater or BMW X5 basher though. With Jeep engines and the Grand Cherokee's limited chassis, even after a sporty tune-up from Alfa, the soft-roader won't be the last word in luxury or performance.
Next will be a 3 Series rivalling saloon to replace the 159 in 2014. With a possibility of the Giulia nametag attached and a decent line-up of engines to tap into from Fiat, Alfa could score a winner if they can get the chassis to 3 Series levels of ability and refinement.
Fiat's hyper-efficient petrol MultiAir technology would give the new Giulia decent economy and efficiency (there'll be diesels too), and reviving that name would be a big tug on the heartstrings for Alfa fans of old.
The all-new convertible and 5 Series size saloon will be here in 2014 as well, and with Alfa axing the Brera Spider this year, the new Spider will be the only drop-top in Alfa's line-up.
The brief for the Spider is stylish, sporty and fun to drive, so expect low weight thanks to lots of aluminium in the chassis, a decent slug of power from the 1.75-litre 200bhp four-cylinder motor and for it to be a proper Audi TT rival.
Based on a 300C, the big saloon might not set quite so many pulses racing however. Standard Chrysler running gear definitely won't add any Alfa zest or pizzazz to the driving experience, and next to the engines in the brilliant bee-em 5 Series, Chrysler's aging petrol and diesel V6s are going to need a refresh to cut it.