• Oct 29, 2007

For years, the only Italian automobiles available in the United States have been exotic sportscars. Alfa Romeo is banking on that perception for its return to the American market with a range of cars that don't cost exotic, but look exotic. That much is further evidenced by the 8C Competizione, the car Alfa made and chose to spearhead the return. But exotic, in people's minds, means rear-wheel-drive, and with the very notable but limited example of the 8C, and despite the availability of AWD on the US-bound 159/Brera/Spider range, Alfa Romeos are all front-drive. That may have cut it overseas, but American buyers are going to want tire-smoking, tail-out dramatics to go with their Italian good looks. Fortunately, Alfa is out to meet that demand with its future models.

Although the Junior hatchback, to be based on the Grande Punto platform, will be front-drive (the norm in hot hatches, anyway), the flagship 169 luxury sedan is tipped to share its platform with Maserati, which means rear-drive. Reports are now surfacing that suggest that additional future Alfa Romeo models will also be RWD, to the benefit of impassioned customers worldwide.

[Source: Motor Authority]



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  • 18 Comments
      • 7 Years Ago
      Rwd Alfa?, that's long overdue.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Dan: I got the impression that you have no Idea about Alfas, or dont read news on European cars. Anyway, read stg about Torsen:

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Torsen

      As far as I know, the only Audis that uses haldex are the ones that are based on the Golf platform (A3, TT), and technically it was impossible to include the traditional quattro drive.
      • 7 Years Ago
      They do not go RWD because of america.. they go RWD to serious fight in Europe Mercedes and BMW in the upper middleclass segment... the first "normal" car comeing with RWD is the all new 2009 Alfa 169.

      .... from leftlane news...
      Alfa Romeo will transition its current lineup from front-wheel drive to rear-wheel drive in order to better compete with German marques, a new report finds. Alfa Romeo hasn't produced a rear-wheel drive car since its 75 sedan and Spider in the early 1990s, but will launch the RWD 8C Competizione sports coupe next year.

      According to Renzo Barbirato, Alfa Romeo's marketing manager, the 8C is just the first of many rear-wheel drive vehicles to come from the Italian automaker. Alfa Romeo's flagship — the 169 sedan — will debut at the end of 2009 with RWD, with several other Alfa Romeo models to follow. Barbirato said the only Alfa Romeo model that will not make the switch to rear-wheel drive is the entry-level Junior due to cost concerns.

      Alfa is also considering offering high-performance all-wheel drive models in the future, the first of which could be the 159 GTA sedan.
      ............................
      http://www.leftlanenews.com/future-alfa-romeo-models-to-switch-to-rear-wheel-drive.html
      • 7 Years Ago
      The 8C "don't cost exotic, but look exotic"???

      Wow, you really don't have a clue.
      • 7 Years Ago
      The 8c is expected to cost between $150,000 and $200,000. In what part of the world is that not considered "exotic"?
        • 7 Years Ago
        You have a point. Although, Honda could take the new Accord, limit it's production run to 1000 and TRY to sell it for $150,000 and no one call it an exotic (nor would they buy it but that's a different point) so I think the term "exotic" also has something to do with underpinnings, craftsmanship, performance and quality as well.
        • 7 Years Ago
        Well, the upcoming Alfa Romeo models in US Market are going to cost a lot less than 8C: here in Italy the entry-level Brera costs around 34000 Eur (nearly 49000$, but I think they won't apply the exact exchange rate).
        The 159 costs from 24000 to 43000 Eur.

        Take a look:
        http://www.quattroruote.it/listino/listaallestimenti.cfm?mar=83&cmod=3601&ccar=3
        • 7 Years Ago
        Maserati-sourced underpinnings are pretty nice, but I guess they are one notch below "exotic".
      • 7 Years Ago
      If all Alfas look as good as the 8C, I don't care what set of wheels are being powered. Let's talk about some prices...
      • 7 Years Ago
      A true Alfa Romeo MUST be rear wheel drive. True AR cars were always RWD, so much so that when FIAT first took over the company and changed the 164 to FWD several Engineers resigned in protest (the chassy had been designed to go either way and be shared with SAAB and Peugeot and the only RWD was to be the AR).

      It is true that when Alfa was government owned the Aflasud brand was FWD, but that was only due to Italian politics at the time.

      Alfa Romeo had a very strict design philosophy, including building engines with exotic alloys (sadly no true AR engines are made at Arese anymore) and hemispheric pistons.

      As along time alfa enthusiast and owner, my next Alfa MUST be RWD or 4WD at least.
        • 7 Years Ago
        But that's like saying that any company that was around before the '80s should only be building RWD cars... cars evolved. Going back to RWD makes sense now that cars are larger, too powerful for FWD, and traction control is good... but emotional reasons shouldn't be driving the decisions.

        Alfa's RWD cars weren't even that great. Nor were their FWD cars, but they were pretty damn good (in handling and steering) for FWD. Better than a lot of other cars no matter which wheels were driving those. If they're going to be even better now, great, but I bet they won't be.
      • 7 Years Ago
      sideways in an alfa romeo? how uncouth. It's just not the done thing, alfa's are above that kind of behaviour. They are meant to sit there and look stunning while you wait for the breakdown truck :)

      Seriously though, other than the 8C, RWD isn't needed in the line up, but that doesn't mean it's not welcome, so long as it doesn't affect the price.
      • 7 Years Ago
      What will they name their cars now that their 150-“series” and 160-“series” have reached the 9’s?

      And geez, we don’t need EVERYBODY to make outright copies of BMWs! That’s a tough game to win anyway.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Awesome. Are you listening yet, Ford and GM? And I don't mean just importing a few cars from Australia in limited numbers...
      • 7 Years Ago
      THe current 159 is way more ersponsive and enjoyable than many RWDs (e.g. Lexus IS, or C Class'07). Personally, I think it would not be necessary to convert to RWD, but if they manage to combine RWD and the traditional Alfa-steering, it would be the most serius player in the (EU) premium mid class. Otherwise many premium brands do just fine wothout RWD, Volvo eg. doesnt even offer a proper AWD, only that Haldex thing, at least Alfa bothered to come up with a proper torsen AWD...
        • 7 Years Ago
        @zoldfulu

        Alfas today are average cars with poor weight distribution and FWD. Unless they correct this, I cannot see why they planning to expand outside Europe. Besides, the only reason you hear about Alfas in Europe is because they break a lot. And BTW, Torsen is an older type of differential, which is purely mechanical, and is no match for todays active Haldex diffs. Audi dropped the Torsen for the center diffs. Today you'll see Torsen only as second or third diff in cars with advanced AWD. Anyway, any car with a sporty character must be RWD.
      • 7 Years Ago
      The 8C "don't cost exotic, but look exotic"???

      Are you kidding me? You're an idiot.
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