Viva Italia: Alfa Romeo Giulietta

Viva Italia: Alfa Romeo Giulietta
Alfa Romeo Giulietta - Automobile Magazine
High up in Poggio: On the trail of Alfa’s racing history in the brand’s newest hatch.

As usual for this time of year, it’s raining cats and dogs. The temperature gauge reads 4 degrees Celsius, and after seventy-five miles the bright white Alfa Romeo Giulietta now wears a streaky, light-gray livery. Gray is indeed the defining color of this depressing late November Sunday: haze in the Po Valley, sleet in the hills above Parma, thick smog permeating Milan like atmospheric cotton wool. Here we are in the newest Alfa Romeo, in weather matching the status and the outlook for a brand that ranges from bleak to bright, depending on whether or not you are on Sergio Marchionne’s side. A couple months ago, Alfa stopped building the Brera coupe and Spider, which together found fewer than 5000 buyers per year. Then it canned the proposed 169 flagship sedan, whose spot in the lineup will now be filled by the still-to-be-developed Maserati positioned below the Quattroporte. And instead of creating modern engines along the lines of the great Alfasud boxer and the legendary four-cylinder DOHC units, the bean counters decided to source a new large diesel from VM Motori and the Pentastar V-6 from Chrysler. Despite the dried-up technology reservoir and the barren product portfolio, the Italian capos insist that Alfa is on track to triple its sales volume to 350,000 units by 2014.

Photo Gallery: Alfa Romeo Giulietta – Automobile Magazine

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