The Alfa Romeo 147 was voted European Car of the Year. But that was way back in 2001, the year after its launch. And despite a mid-cycle refresh, it's since grown a little long in the tooth. The Italian automaker introduced the MiTo to replace the three-door 147 last year, and has been hard at work since on the new Milano (previously referred to as "149") to replace the 147 five-door once and for all. Now, following months of speculation, spy shots and even some out-of-focus snapshots from the factory floor, we've got our best look yet at the new Italian hatchback.

If these images from Quattroroute are to be believed, it appears Alfa Romeo's Centro Stile has done a better job translating the 8C Competizione's design cues into the longer Milano than it did with the stubby MiTo. The snout does appear to extend a tad too far, giving the Milano (which, in these pictures, is wearing a 149 plate up front) a long front overhang, the trademark shield grille protruding with the headlights swept back. The tail end, as is often the case with Alfas, has some of the best lines in the business, and outfitted with the right engine, that may be all that other motorists see of it, anyway.

The jury's still out, but the latest reports indicate that the Milano won't make it to the North American market. Thanks for the tip, Vittorio!

[Source: Quattroroute]