By on November 21, 2016

Alfa Romeo Giulia Quad, Image: Fiat Chrysler Automobiles

As the season for giving approaches, Alfa Romeo is saying it might gift its rear-drive Giorgio platform to other Fiat Chrysler vehicles.

Last week, at the Los Angeles Auto Show, Alfa’s Reid Bigland not-so humble bragged to journalists that the platform is so good it would actually be difficult not to share it across brands.

“Modifying that platform to spawn additional FCA products is a possibility,” he said. “We’ve got a jewel here. In terms of driving dynamics, it’s best in class, so it’s going to be difficult to keep that exclusive for Alfa Romeo.”

Bigland has already discussed how the platform would be used for Alfa Romeo’s five year product expansion plan. Now Automotive News has him suggesting the Giorgio platform might appear under a new, unnamed, performance-oriented Dodge or Maserati.

It is also assumed to take over duties for the LX platform for the Charger sometime after 2020.

Alfa Romeo spent over $1 billion developing the platform for the Giulia sedan, and its sharp handling characteristics earned the company substantial praise from the automotive press. Giorgio will also underpin the Stelvio SUV when it launches next year, making use of the 280 horsepower inline 2.0 liter or optional 505 hp turbocharged V6. Alfa then hopes to use it in range of other vehicles, including a small hatchback to replace the aging Giulietta.

[Image: Fiat Chrysler Automobiles]

Get the latest TTAC e-Newsletter!

Recommended

71 Comments on “Alfa May Let Other FCA Brands Borrow its RWD Platform...”


  • avatar
    SCE to AUX

    Great, but less talk and more output from Alfa is needed. The brand has sold about 1200 cars in the US since returning in 2014.

    FCA should think long and hard about wagging the dog with an Alfa design.

    • 0 avatar
      CoreyDL

      Hey, it’s best in class.**********

      *Class as determined by 2016 sales figures of Giulia versus Renault Alpine GTA.
      **Includes theoretical US sales figures.
      ***US sales figures created by assumption, European sales times US population.
      ****Assumes 1.2 Alfa Romeo sales per US household.

      • 0 avatar
        philadlj

        Yeah, really. How the heck does Big McLargehuge know it’s “best in class”?

        According to GCBC, Alfa sold 7 Giulias in the US in September, and…that’s it?!

      • 0 avatar
        heavy handle

        European reviews say that it handles better than the current 3 Series, and that the interior is nicer (or less German). That’s probably what he means.

        I haven’t seen a Giulia yet myself, let alone driven one, but the 3 Series is definitely the leader for RWD-based “C-segment premium sporty saloons.” The XE also qualifies, as does the C-Class if you don’t want “sporty.”

        • 0 avatar
          WallMeerkat

          The C Class in current generation in the UK, is only sold in “sporty” trim with the gangsta-rap style big badge grille.

          To heck with those of us who prefer our Stuttgart taxicabs to have an upright grille with a bonnet sight….

          It is the only large(-ish) sedan in their top 10 sales.

    • 0 avatar
      Von

      If this is the logic we are going along with, VW has best in class emissions and should share their technology with Audi and Skoda…oh they did.

      Well then, I can’t see how this could possibly turn out to badly.

  • avatar
    CoreyDL

    Sort of like “The Northstar engine is so good, we can’t -help- but use it across the brand.”

  • avatar
    dukeisduke

    A new Chrysler 200?

    /kidding!

    • 0 avatar
      Lorenzo

      It’s got the wheelbase, width, and length of the Dart. Is there a new Dart GT in the works? The only automatic in the Giulia is the ZF 8speed. Maybe they can put the Mercedes electronic 5-speed auto in the Dart GT. Then they’ll have at least one part that’s reliable.

  • avatar
    OldManPants

    Know what I’d like to see? I’d like to see a photo of a “platform” without any of the not-platform stuff stuck on it yet.

    Just how much of which components does “platform” connote? Is it anything like the olden days where a “chassis” was a structurally and functionally complete assembly needing only the body shell (or, nowadays, panels) attached to be a car?

    “Platform” seems to be one of the most nebulous concepts currently being tossed about as popular automotive jargon.

    • 0 avatar
      ToddAtlasF1

      https://www.google.com/search?q=VW+MQB+platform&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwip4oDz6LrQAhVj1oMKHU4mCMwQ_AUICigD

      I felt sorry for you.

    • 0 avatar
      Zykotec

      I believe in some newer cars ‘platform’ is the internal map the robots that build the car follow when assembling them. Meaning that two mostly different cars can be built at the same plant without reprogramming the whole production line. But in a lot of cases there will still be interchangeable parts between models like floor pans , inner quarters and front subframe assemblies. But I’m not an expert.

    • 0 avatar
      dal20402

      “a photo of a ‘platform\'”

      Go look at a picture of a hard drive.

      A platform is really more a set of common dimensions than a tangible object. The idea is to be able to reuse both design/engineering work and non-body parts for multiple generally similar models.

      • 0 avatar
        OldManPants

        Like old chassis didn’t have common dimensions? Is it just that there are now so many critical modules to fit in and each requires design software awareness and real-time adjustment that a quantum leap in complexity has been wrought so the old timey jargon just won’t do?

        • 0 avatar
          Kyree S. Williams

          Well, back in the days of predominantly body-on-frame cars, the chassis and the body were separate. The platform referred more to the body, like M-body (Chrysler), C-body (General Motors) and Panther (Ford). In fact, most of the engineering work was down to the body, not the chassis, although the chassis was still a major consideration in terms of crash-worthiness.

          But models with the same “body” could absolutely have different chassis underneath. I’m reminded of the early E-body GM cars. They were all semi-unibody. But the Oldsmobile Toronado and Cadillac Eldorado had a subframe and a longitude-FWD layout; meanwhile the Buick Riviera retained a full frame…a beefed-up version of GM’s controversial cruciform-frame (X-frame), with a traditional longitude-RWD powertrain bolted to it. The full frame wasn’t really even necessary for the Riviera in terms of structure; it was mainly there to carry the powertrain.

          Or for a modern example…pickup trucks. There are different chassis on the half-ton, quarter-ton and full-ton models, even though most of the bodywork is the same.

          So, to answer your question, chassis went away because for modern unibody vehicles, the chassis is integrated into the body. A better question would be why “body” gave way to “platform”…to which I would answer that platform is simply a better term. Strictly-speaking, even classic cars didn’t usually share bodies, as the sheetmetal itself was distinct between models. They were just kind of the same shape and size. Moreover, the main structural component that modern platform-sister models share is the floorpan. Everything else is dimensions and engine-mount locations and distances between the pedal box and the dashboard. “Body” doesn’t really describe that.

          Think of a platform not as anything you can point to, but rather as a combined engineering effort and a template for parts that bolt onto and into the car, like powertrains.

          • 0 avatar
            Corollaman

            I prefer the term “architecture” myself

          • 0 avatar
            OldManPants

            ZOMG… beautifully cogent answer, Kyree. Thank you.

          • 0 avatar
            GeneralMalaise

            You’ll baffle them with the facts, Kyree. Too many are busy impressing each other with how snarky they can be.

            Alfas have almost always been a thing of beauty, not only visually, but to the ear, as well. I say bring ’em on!

          • 0 avatar
            Scoutdude

            All the early E bodies had full frames, no stub frame in the Toro and Eldo the needed a proper perimeter frame and a substantial mid vehicle cross member to anchor the torsion bars. The body shell’s structure was in no way sufficient to support a vehicle.

            As far as the definition of platform the problem is that it means different things to different mfgs. About the only thing that everyone can actually agree on is a shared basic front suspension and frequently but not always the rear suspension.

            Take the original platform the Falcon, by the time the last Granada rolled off the line there were 18 different combinations of wheel base and track width. All those different combinations meant many different floor pans and many different changes in the dimensions between the front axle center line and the cowl. However open the hood or look under the front of any of those cars and you’ll see the shared architectural design.

            Its replacement the Fox also had a number of different wheel bases which required different floor pan stampings, and track widths which had some different front control arm lengths.

          • 0 avatar
            OldManPants

            Thanks to you, too, Scoutdude. Now, bolstered by your and Kyree’s comments I can ammend my grasp of platforms from merely “nebulous” to:

            “Cloudy with a chance of meatballs, the meatballs being where individual sets of descriptions by smart, hyper-knowledgeable people overlap one another in a Venn diagram”.

          • 0 avatar
            OzCop

            Kyree pretty much nailed it…

          • 0 avatar
            BigOldChryslers

            @Kyree: What you say may be true for GM, but certainly not for Mopars. Within Mopar “body” lines (A-body, B-Body, C-body, E-body, etc.) vehicles in the same family were basically the same mechanically, with different sheetmetal bodywork on top. Wheelbase may be different within the same body line.

            So for Mopars, the terms x-Body (x=A,B,C,etc.) was already more akin to what we call a “platform” today. Of course, Mopars were already unibody when they started using the x-Body nomenclature in the mid 60’s.

          • 0 avatar
            dividebytube

            I can’t find a link, but I do remember an old article/book where the Oldsmobile engineers were driving a 1960s 442 – sans body – around; just the frame, a bucket seat, gad pedal, brake, and a steering wheel.

            Personally I miss full-frame cars like my ol’ Caprice, Roadmaster, Monte Carlo, and Grand Marquis. They had a different road feel that I have a hard time describing but the car did feel more “connected” throughout the chassis – I guess more like an old wagon!

    • 0 avatar
      JimZ

      A platform isn’t a concrete thing. It’s a set of dimensions. Physical hardware based on a platform is an “architecture.”

      • 0 avatar
        Scoutdude

        But it is not a set of dimensions, take a look at the CUSW it is considered to be a part of Fiat’s C platform but it was quartered and a little added to the width and length. So it does not have dimensions in common with the rest of the C platform vehicles but it does share the basic suspension architecture.

  • avatar
    sportyaccordy

    If this underpins the next Charger, I may cop.

  • avatar
    pgcooldad

    This is a secret to no one who has kept up with all of FCA’s brands. Basically, you can make a Dodge out of an Alfa but never an Alfa out of a Dodge. The market would crucify you otherwise.

    The intent to roll-out platforms from Alfa on down was there all along, that’s why I never worried about all the press on Alfa’s billion dollar platform.

    • 0 avatar
      Magnusmaster

      The problem with that strategy is that the Giorgio platform is RWD, while virtually all mainstream cars are FWD.

      • 0 avatar
        JohnTaurus_3.0_AX4N

        Lol, so everyone gets flack for their boring, me-too FWD cookie-cutter sedans.

        Then Alfa comes along, a brand known for sporty cars with flair and style, and so they choose RWD for their (RWD) 3 series and (RWD) C-Class challenger (no pun intended). Nobody rejoices, its just ” stoopid alfuh, the Camry is fwd and it sells well so why go rwd”.

        If the Chrysler 300 and Dodge Charger were FWD and offered no real performance versions, I promise you they wouldn’t outsell the Ford Taurus, Toyota Avalon, Nissan Maxima and the Chevy Impala. (The 300 outsells Taurus, not the Impala or Maxima). Another thing, people love to point out how dismal the Taurus sales are, yet its #5 and outsells the Avalon. Anyway, this whole segment is in decline, but FCA has managed to keep itself relevant by keeping RWD in a market gone FWD crazy. The only other RWD sedans you can get are high end cars.

        If Dodge launched a midsize RWD sedan, they would stand out from the Camcordltimausionlibu crowd big time. A decontented Alfa RWD car at Dodge prices? Yeah. That sounds AWFUL, they should just bring back the old FWD Avenger. That’ll get noticed (by Avis).

        The Chrysler 200’s compromised coupe profile could’ve been forgiven if it were a RWd budget 3 Series with a store-brand label/price. And, they would be using the ZF 8 speed in it, being RWD, which I understand is far better than the transverse 9 speed in the “real” 200.

        • 0 avatar
          ajla

          I’m very happy with the RWD. I’m not thrilled with the engine choices though.

          The Quadrifoglio is bonkers, but at about $70K that’s some walking around money (and a higher price than most of its competition).

          I guess it’s possible the 2.0T will be the greatest turbo-4 EVER, but I’m really hoping they see fit to offer something in between the 276hp entry offering and the 505hp mega-bucks offering. A 330hp-400hp V6 (turbo or not) would do nicely.

          • 0 avatar
            JohnTaurus_3.0_AX4N

            I agree, and dropping the manual in the US market really dumped on my parade. I’m hoping it was something like a certification issue which can be resolved. You can’t call yourself a a sporty carmaker and offer no manual trans. Even if it sells poorly, and it will, it will symbolize their commitment to the enthusiast driver.

            I’m not 100% pro-FCA, but I do give them the benefit of the doubt here, I believe the Giulia is a good car and I hope they can make it work for Dodge.

            Imagine a decently equipped Dodge Duster (for lack of a better name): RWD midsize sedan, Pentastar V-6, 8 speed ZF. Um, yeah. I’m feeling that way more than a CVT strangled FWD Altima. It would really make a statement and become a standout.

            And the Challenger will be far more apt to contend with the more nimble Camaro and the bargain Mustang with a smaller, sophisticated platform instead of a bloated, dated, full size sedan chop-job.

          • 0 avatar
            heavy handle

            I’m sure a Dodge version will offer the Pentastar V6 as an option. It’s really a no-brainer for FCA: the car is designed to take a V6, it’s a cheap engine to build, and they can charge extra for it.

          • 0 avatar
            Flipper35

            Chrysler has been throwing out hints of a 400-450hp turbocharged Pentastar. Would be a great fit for a smaller platform ‘Cuda or Challenger or whatever.

      • 0 avatar
        Lorenzo

        They tried the upscale 200 in FWD and it didn’t sell. With RWD, they can sell upscale, and with the right drivetrain, performance too, at higher transaction prices. Inexpensive FWD economy cars are for the little people.

    • 0 avatar
      JohnTaurus_3.0_AX4N

      I know. But on every article that vaguely mentions Giulia, its WHY ARE THEY WASTING MONEY ON ALFA?!?!?!? DODGE AND CHRYSLER NEED CARZ not stopping for 3 seconds to realize it is best to start at the top and work your way down. Dodge and/or Chrysler will get the cars.

      You debut an expensive platform under brands which can sell expensive cars. Then you find a way to make the fundamentals of that car work on a mainstream level, with a profit. Its trickle-down stuff that is used by automakers all the time.

      Like all that money was spent on Giulia so Alfa could sell 7 cars and call it a day. Nope, no way could the development cost be spread over several models/brands at different price ranges in global markets. Why, that’s poppycock!

      • 0 avatar
        JimZ

        They are wasting money on Alfa. They’re trying to walk in to a market segment where brand is king and deluding themselves into believing they’ll flip 400,000 BMW and Audi buyers basically overnight. And the only ones who believes them are the B&B/Jalop types who aren’t going to buy one anyway.

        • 0 avatar
          heavy handle

          ” deluding themselves into believing they’ll flip 400,000 BMW and Audi buyers basically overnight”

          I doubt that this is their internal target. They probably don’t have the production capacity to do that.

          Long-term, sure, spread-out over Europe, the Americas, and Asia. But not overnight.

          • 0 avatar
            JimZ

            their own words, man. 400,000 sales/yr by 2018.

            http://www.topgear.com/car-news/opinion/opinion-will-alfa-romeo%E2%80%99s-big-2018-masterplan-succeed

          • 0 avatar
            heavy handle

            You are confusing PR with internal targets. I don’t have time to look for it, but there is an interview with Marchione where he admits that the numbers he states in public are stretch targets, far higher than what FCA actually needs ti succeed.

  • avatar
    Corollaman

    It reminds me of the old POS Jaguar X car which shared a platform with Ford.

    • 0 avatar
      brn

      The x-type didn’t deserve to be called a Jag, but it was far from a POS.

      Similarly, the XE doesn’t deserve to be called a Jag.

    • 0 avatar
      JohnTaurus_3.0_AX4N

      How in anyway whatsoever is this like the X-Type?

      The car started as the Ford Mondeo. It was gussied up, made AWD standard and put a Jag face on and in it.

      This is the EXACT OPPOSITE, since the premium car (Giulia) was developed FIRST, and the decontented mainstream version (Dodge/Chrysler/Fiat) is derived from that.

      They’re doing exactly the opposite as what Ford did with that particular Jag*. How you figure its the same is just another one of those things you say. Like how Toyota is too smart to enter the subcompact utility market after their entry has been widely seen and discussed since before Scion was shuttered, and had an article about it on TTCA not long before you posted that.

      *Ford did use Jaguar to pioneer aluminum body construction, which has trickled down to mainstream vehicles. Even though the X-Type sold fairly well, it was just a gussied up Mondeo with Jag styling and standard AWD.

  • avatar
    Conslaw

    I wonder if Robert Farago has seen the grill on this car. I think it would remind him of something.

  • avatar
    brn

    Alfa may let them borrow? I’m not sure they have a lot of choice in the matter.

    • 0 avatar
      JimZ

      The entire Alfa play is nothing but a display of corporate ego/arrogance at all levels. Marchionne and Elkann have it in their minds that Alfa Romeo is such a compelling, desireable brand that it “deserves” its throne at the top of the FCA empire. And that any of the “lesser” brands should be happy if they deign to allow them use of the holy Giulia architecture.

      Just like how well using the Giulietta architecture worked out for the Dart and 200.

  • avatar
    Rday

    Only people that are hopelessly needing a vehicle will shop Chrysler or Fiat. They are the bottom of the barrel and can exist only because other companies will not sell to their deadbeat customers. Why is there so much press given to these deadbeats and con artists [Sergio and crew]. Just amazes me that they can still find enough idiots to do business with them.
    I was stupid enough to buy a promaster van and since the warranty has run out there are numerous things starting to happen. Of course none of them are covered by their extended power train warranty, even though you would think the oil sending unit is part of the engine and therefore the power train. Stupid me!!!

  • avatar
    OldManPants

    If that thing in the photo is to be turned into a RWD Dodge Dart for 40+ K I don’t see how it could miss.

  • avatar
    WallMeerkat

    Makes sense.
    Their previous sport sedan, the stunning 159, was built on a GM platform (as part of a then Fiat-GM JV) that was never used by anyone else other than Alfa Romeo.
    It was originally to underpin models from Buick, Cadillac and Saab (from a passive safety and rigidity perspective, the 159 was the best Saab that Saab never built…), so it was quite a heavy base for a small sports sedan, Alfa’s plan was to use it as their (mid-size, European large) sedan 166 replacement but that never came to fruition.

    I’m guessing that with memories of the 159 still fresh, now they have a great platform that they really want to pick it up and run with it across the entirity of FCA…

  • avatar
    BigOldChryslers

    Why not build other FCA brand vehicles off the same platform? All mainstream auto manufacturers do it to amortize costs. As the article states, this is already expected to be the successor to Chrysler’s LX platform. The trick is to not cross the line between platform sharing and “badge engineering”.

  • avatar

    If they can improve their reliability across the board, it’s worth a look. I’d like more options that didn’t come from Germany.

  • avatar
    GeneralMalaise

    I drive a 2013 E350 BlueTec and so far, so good. But I wouldn’t go near a BMW with their legendary maintenance issues and would have to think long and hard about an Audi, though they are beautiful cars.

  • avatar
    pb35

    I’ve been pondering the new Giulia lately but the top of the line model is probably a little more than I’m comfortable spending on a car. So it looks like I can just wait for the Alfa Charger when it comes out. Profit!

  • avatar
    npaladin2000

    Let’s clear this up right now. Is there anyone on the planet who seriously expected that this platform would remain an Alfa exclusive for any significant period of time given how starved the other brands are for product?

    *crickets*

    Thought not.

    • 0 avatar
      heavy handle

      FCA has been saying for years that the Giulia platform would be used in non-Alfa cars. This article is all about the fact that they had to repeat it once again for the slow kids in the back row.
      Those are the same slow kids who keep claiming that “FCA has no plans for Dodge!” Even though those plans have been explained over and over again.

  • avatar
    automaniak

    October 2016 / Jan-Oct 2016

    European market: minus 0.3% / + 6.9%

    FCA brands:
    Fiat +3.2% / +14.3%
    Alfa Romeo +21.0% / + 12.4%
    Lancia + 24.4% / +10.5%
    Jeep + 8.3% / +20.7%


Back to TopLeave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.

Recent Comments

  • dmoan: @sck Or wanted third row seating that actually seat more than children which X5 does not have. And Mdx is...
  • ...m...: …i posit that the chassis material isn’t particularly fundamental, that a naturally-aspirated...
  • conundrum: FCA is a Italo/Dutch/British company that owns US/Mexican/Canadian plants. Also in Poland, Serbia, Italy...
  • pragmatic: +1
  • ash78: I’m convinced he uses Twitter as little more than a red herring to keep the media off his back about...

New Car Research

Get a Free Dealer Quote

Staff