By on February 23, 2011

One of the first rumors to come out of the Fiat/Chrysler tie-up was that Alfa-Romeo would replace its expired 166 flagship with a large, RWD sedan based on Chrysler’s updated LX platform. But with Lancia getting its own rebadge of the new Chrysler 300, and a possibly LX/LC-based entry-level Maserati in development, it seems that Alfa’s opportunity for a flagship rear-drive sedan has passed. Auto Motor und Sport reports that, rather than developing a large Alfa flagship, the brand will top out (in sedan terms) with its forthcoming, 159-replacing Giulia front-drive D-segment effort. That might not come as terribly shocking news to the brand faithful, as Alfa’s have been almost exclusively front-drivers for some time… but the fact that no fizzy, crackling Alfa-typical V6 is planned for the brand’s midsized flagship might come as a letdown (instead, look for turbocharged four-bangers making between 120 and 235 HP). All of which is very interesting in light of CEO Sergio Marchionne’s recent diagnosis of Alfa’s woes, in which he argued

I mean it’s got this incredible appeal which goes back, you know, to the time they used to be on the racetrack, and it’s the embodiment of a lot of things which are typically Italian; sportiness, lightweight, and everything else. And what happened is that when Fiat bought them back in the end of ’86 we Fiatized Alfa. Fiat was front-wheel drive; Alfa was rear wheel drive. So now all the Alfas are front-wheel drive. And we put Fiat engines inside the Alfas, and Alfa started losing more and more of its DNA as a car company.

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16 Comments on “Alfa Denies LX-Platform Flagship Rumors...”

  • avatar

    It’s a shame they’re not restoring the Alfa brand yet, especially given the clear indication that Serge understands at least some of what’s missing, but realistically, they can probably only spend big bucks on some of their worldwide development, and I’m glad Chrysler’s getting their time and money for the moment.

    Maybe Chrysler was deemed closer to the brink than Alfa. Being in the US, I don’t know much about the current situation for Alfa, but Chrysler was pretty damned close to the brink.

  • avatar

    And this is why VW should run Alfa…..

  • avatar

    Maybe a coupe based on the Challenger?

  • avatar

    I am not going to lie, that Lancia Grill/Emblem looks very good on the charger.

  • avatar

    The Fiat/Chrysler deal seems to going the same direction GM went in the 1980’s with no separation between brands. I understand the fiscal reasoning for part sharing but just slapping an Alfa Romeo badge on the front of a Chrysler 300 is pretty sad. It is true what others have said, VW would at least treat the Alfa Romeo brand image with some respect.

  • avatar

    If I was king of Fiat, I would set things up as follows:
    Fiat – Econoboxes, family sedans, minivans, and people movers
    Alfa – Sporty coupes, low to mid-price sports cars, and premium sports econoboxes
    Lancia – Medium to large upscale sedans, including full-on luxury sedans
    Maserati – Luxury sports cars and GTs between Alfa and Ferrari plus Quattroporte
    Ferrari – Pure and expensive sports and GT cars – the sky’s the limit
    Abarth – Tuned and competition versions of Fiat and Alfa
    Jeep – SUVs and 4WDs in all markets
    Chrysler/Dodge – For US only, except for premium minivans which can be sold in Europe

  • avatar

    Please tell me that the picture is fake… it looks terrible. Stop killing Alfa!! You already killed Lancia, dont kill another classic Italian brand.

  • avatar

    I’m not too sure Serge gets it. He pretty much murdered the Lancia brand with the Lancia Grand Voyager and whatever the Lancia ‘200’ is called now and will see basically nothing in return because these cars will sell in very low volumes.

    Instead he could have stuck to launching the Lancia Thema (aka 300) and wait 2 or 3 years for the replacements of the Grand Voyager and 200 to appear and then differentiate them more than cynically slapping on a Lancia grill. When executed right that might have given them a small but fighting chance.

    The Lancia Grand Voyager is just a terrible joke. Rebranding early 80s style.

  • avatar

    A Dodge Charger with an Edsel grille! What’ll they think of next? Condemn all computer-generated graphic software immediately!

  • avatar
    John Horner

    From an enthusiast’s point of view it would be great for Alfa to return to building clearly differentiated rear wheel drive cars. The problem, of course, is that Alfa was never able to do so in a consistently profitable way, and today it is even more expensive to develop a vehicle. It is a tough box to live in.

  • avatar

    That has got to be the ugliest damn thing I’ve seen all year.

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