• Feb 11th 2008 at 5:42PM
  • 3

The rumor-mill is churning away again over the anticipated return of the Alfa Romeo Duetto. It could be a couple more years before the Duetto hits the road, but when it does, the new convertible is anticipated to target the Mazda MX-5 and form an integral part of Alfa Romeo's return to the American market.

Since the Fiat Group doesn't have any new small convertibles on which to base the Duetto, the Alfa roadster is tipped to be based on the Fiat Bravo's platform. That means it will feature a range of turbocharged engines driving the front wheels, but could get the performance-oriented all-wheel-drive system reportedly being developed for the Bravo platform. The AWD system is also rumored to be featured on a pair of high performance premium hatchbacks from the Italian automaker: the Alfa 149 GTA and Lancia Delta Integrale.

[Source: World Car Fans]

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 7 Years Ago
      I disagree only slightly. Weight is a huge problem for both marques, but I think identity is also a major factor, and In some ways I think the two go hand in hand.

      The 8C isn't an Alfa. It's a Maserati, built by Maserati, and with a Maserati engine. And that engine isn't really a Maserati engine, but a modified Ferrari unit.

      The Brera has less of an excuse. It should be a replacment for th GTV, but it isn't, it's a two-door crossover. It's huge, and heavy and that spoils the car, because there's no point to it. It isn't sporting, or particularly good looking, which means it fails as an Alfa.

      Alfa need to re-think their current corporate bent. If they want to chase the Germans in making high-quality interiors, then they will fail, the Germans got there first. If instead they simply try to make cars as spirited as Alfas of yore, but with increased reliability and a better servicing network (which was the problem in the first place), they may yet succeed.

      Either way, until I read the term "RWD", and stop hearing about deisel powerplants, this car will remain of little interest.
      • 7 Years Ago
      The headlights ruin it. Glad its only speculation.
      • 7 Years Ago
      The biggest problem Alfa and its sister brand Maserati are currently facing is weight. Their designs are beautiful but generally several hundred kilograms porkier than the competition. No amount of extra power under the hood can compensate for that on twisty B roads. Excess weight ruins the handling.

      The Duetto might be a good idea precisely because a true roadster has to be lithe or the market will reject it. Perhaps adding some lightness to the design would eventually rub off on the rest of the model range.

      As for drive configuration, FWD would undoubtedly be the easiest to implement. However, pushing the front wheels into the corners and the cab forward would create room behind the seats for a small displacement, canted, turbocharged GDI engine mated to a manual gear box. Voila, a mid-engined roadster with cargo space under the hood.

      Ok, so there would be some thorny packaging issues regarding the radiator, fuel tank and the soft top mechanism. However, Honda implemented a similar layout in their Beat kei car, i.e. one featuring a 660cc engine. VW's Up! and EcoRacer concepts also feature a similar layout - with larger engines but minus the soft top.