By on January 15, 2013

This is an Alfa Romeo 166. No, really. This car, called the Trumpchi, is owned by Chinese automaker GAC, and uses an Alfa platform. Apparently it’s a 4WD Hybrid as well. It looks utterly generic and about a decade behind the rest of the competizione…err, competition.

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31 Comments on “NAIAS 2013: Alfa Romeo Makes Triumphant Return To The US Wth AWD Hybrid, Ignored By Everyone...”

  • avatar

    If it came to the US, sold for $8k, and outlasted the payment plan, it would sell well. That’s how Hyundai got started in the US.

  • avatar

    “It looks utterly generic and about a decade behind the rest of the competizione…err, competition.”

    …and yet it doesn’t look ghastly or polarizing, therefore it won’t alienate anyone and may sell well.

    • 0 avatar

      agreed. if low beltlines and rear window visibility are your thing then this may offer an option. potential reliability? tough to say. availability of parts? tough to say. but if it comes cheaply then it may sell. if it has the reliability of some of the cars from a decade ago then it may not be all that bad.

      why grey? the color itself does not polarize.

  • avatar

    An Italian car as built by the Chinese, and loaded with extra complexity? There’s approximately nothing about that I trust.

    At least when Lada built Fiats as their own, they used stouter bits, even if they ruined the car otherwise.

  • avatar

    Very interesting comments about how Hyundai got started in the USA, I think a lot of people are unaware of this fact?

  • avatar

    Outdated? Nah. Jut throw some more LEDs on it and it’ll be just like new…

  • avatar

    I actually felt a little sad for it when I looked at the photo a little closer and noticed it’s pushed so far into the corner that half of it is off the carpet.

    • 0 avatar
      Matt Fink

      This car was actually not in the show. This was the hallway out front. Though it was next to a company selling four-wheelers that turn into jet skis… which was awesome. When I talked to a rep from the company he spoke broken English but kept saying it has all-wheel drive. I mentioned it looked a little like a Honda Accord he said, “What is Honda?” Really dude? Don’t act like you don’t know what Honda is when someone points out the parts that are a direct rip off. Nice car though.

      • 0 avatar

        Lest some go away thinking that this was GAC’s only entry at Detroit this year, I’m told that there were two other models displayed. One of these was the E-Jet hybrid concept…..worth checking out.
        btw Geely, in its first appearance at Cobo, was also relegated to the vestibule. Space is very limited, or maybe some planning further in advance by such random participants would be good.

      • 0 avatar

        The specifications say “Drivetrain: Front engine, front wheel drive.” See

        This picture of the underside doesn’t show any all-wheel drive hardware.

        Maybe the company rep thought “all-wheel drive” meant that there is a wheel on each corner, or something like that.

  • avatar

    Hyundai got started with the Excel, which although cheap, certainly did not outlast the payment book.

  • avatar

    Two questions:

    1) Why display it when there’s no possibility of it being for sale here?

    2) Why pick dirty water grey as your display color?

  • avatar

    Looks about a decade out of date
    —- like a current Toyota Camry.

  • avatar

    This car debuted to the western world last February, when Jeremy Clarkson did a road test of it in China in series 18 episode 2 of Top Gear.

    Decade behind is a little harsh considering the rest of the world saw it a year ago it looks an awful lot like this 2-3 year old Toyota Camry.–_12-21-2011.jpg

  • avatar

    The Chinese clearly learned something: notice that the carpet underneath it is black to better hide the inevitable Alfa oil leaks.

  • avatar

    Epic blandness. An Alpha has been turned into a Buick.

  • avatar

    Somehow just looking at this makes me depressed.

    • 0 avatar

      Understandable. Inevitably in the future, this POS will be sold here thanks to solid efforts by the best marketing firms in the business, just like the POS Chinese tools and equipment sold at Home Depot and Walmart. By then, just like with the tools sold in those stores, it will be expected that in return for lower price we get an inferior product that has rather limited lifespan. The mentality will move even more towards “I don’t care if this fridge falls apart in 3 years, I saved enough money to buy a new one then. More metal will be processed, more factories will burn fuels to process it, etc. etc. etc.

  • avatar

    Who wrote this and how do they still have a job?
    1) Where in the article does the information reflect the title? Why not title it “American GDP as discussed by baseball legend Chipper Jones” It would have had the same relevance. Of course it probably should have been “Here’s a picture of an asian car!” That would have been accurate to the content. The exclamation point is so that your readers have something to comment about.
    2) Why did the author pressume that a current model Asian market car could reflect a future model North American market car from a European company?
    3) There’s so little information about the car, about Alfa’s US market plans, about anything, that this whole article could have been the caption of the picture. At least then, the author would have been forced to actually write something.

    • 0 avatar

      Yeah, some actual information would be nice. Just how much of the original Alfa 166 is used, for instance. It doesn’t look anything like the 166. The filler cap is in the same place. And they are both round. That is about it.

      In DK’s defence – information on Trumpchi GA5 Sedan from Guangzhou Auto (GAC) is quite scarce. Here are some picture galleries that I found:

      The specifications say that it comes with a 1.8 or 2.0 DOHC 16V I4, but with only 108kW I doubt that it is a Twin-Spark. No word about any Alfa V6, which has always been the best part of any car that is fitted into.

  • avatar

    Here’s an article from Tycho, a Dutch auto enthusist living in Beijing:
    Apparently, the old Fiat Twinspark is available on lesser non-hybrid models:

  • avatar

    Fiat doesnt have twin spark, Alfa does

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