• Feb 16, 2010

Alfa Romeo 159 – Click above for high-res image gallery

It's been 15 years since Alfa Romeo last sold vehicles in the U.S. market, but according to Fiat CEO Sergio Marchionne, we won't have to wait much longer for a chance to own a vehicle donning the Cross and Serpent. Automotive News is reporting that Marchionne insisted that Alfa will return Stateside in the next 24 months, adding: "I'm a lot more confident now that Alfa Romeo will reconstitute a product offering that is acceptable globally, and more in particular in the United States and Canada."

To make the jump to the U.S. and Canada, Alfa will reportedly need to rely on its newest sibling Chrysler for the appropriate platforms. AN sources say that the most likely Alfas to make the trans-Atlantic journey are the successors to the 159 and 166, but those vehicles could be sitting on Chrysler platforms when they make their way to production. The 159 replacement would reportedly be built in the U.S. with a scheduled 2012 arrival and it could rest atop Chrysler's "compact wide" midsize architecture. The range may eventually also spawn both a sedan and wagon. AN indicates that the 166 successor could be matched up with The Pentastar's large rear drive platform that currently underpins the Dodge Charger and Chrysler 300, with the vehicle being built at Chrysler's Brampton, Ontario plant. The 147 replacement that is scheduled to be unveiled at the Geneva Motor Show will apparently not be coming to North America.

We're really hoping Alfas will in fact arrive on our shores within the next couple years, but we've certainly witnessed this song and dance before. There is no question that Fiat has to do something with Alfa, though, as global sales that have gone from 203,000 in 2000 to 102,000 in 2009 won't cut it for long.



[Source: Automotive News – sub. req.]



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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 38 Comments
      • 4 Years Ago
      The only new car I've ever considered buying has been an Alfa...but since they stopped selling them in the US 1995 and I didn't get my driver's license until 2003, it hasn't been possible. I'll keep my fingers crossed.
      • 4 Years Ago
      RWD Alfa's finally.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Finally, out with the old in with the Euro
        • 4 Years Ago
        I was worried I was only going to see Alfa Romeos in the states badged as Dodge or Chrysler. I want my vagina grill damn-it!
        • 4 Years Ago
        Looks like Alfa will be back in time for the Omega.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Framboy,

        No, that's not what the Edsel grill looked like. It looked like a horse collar.
      • 4 Years Ago
      The problem is that all these European car companies that either used to sell cars in the US, or still do but are embarrassingly small players in our market, suffer from the same issue. They only appeal to a very small, fragmented audience here in the states. Plus, they tend to be mechanically inferior to the rest of the cars in our market. Yeah, their quirky designs may appeal to some here but, overall, there's a reason they aren't making it here. So, how does infusing Chrysler with these otherwise inferior cars make sense?
        • 4 Years Ago
        There is always going to be distinctly differing views of what is a "good car" between Americans and Europeans. The markets are VERY different indeed. Still, some things are not really debatable like the fact that many European marques haven't made it to our shores due to their inability to meet our safety and emissions standards.
        • 4 Years Ago
        The MINI is not even close to being the same thing as this. In the MINI's case, they are simply a company that finally landed in the hands of a high-quality parent company, that breathed a good deal of money and guidance into them. The vehicles that came before BMW took over were for the most part crap.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Seems to have worked ok for MINI.
      • 4 Years Ago
      I'm starting my 159 all wheel drive wagon fund right now!!!
      • 4 Years Ago
      If it really has been 15 years since Alfa Romeo last sold vehicles in the US, then just what brand are all those 8C's I see driving around the LA area?
      • 4 Years Ago
      @SeanG - What does the platform have to do with the finial design or performance? nothing. Every car maker shares platforms within their own brands.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Usually chassis rigidity and drivetrain layout. A platform with a front drive layout and transverse engine is difficult, but not impossible, to produce as a FR longitudinal engined car which is honestly what you need if you want to punch in this weight. Otherwise the 3 series and C-class will continue to dominate (and, as a result overprice) the entry level euro-sports-luxury market. Don't kid yourself into thinking that those aren't going to be it's competitors because it will cost less. They can charge more because they're so much better. Simple as that. If the Saab 9-3 had started to kick-ass GM would have priced that with them as well (See CTS).
      • 4 Years Ago
      I'm excited to see Alfa coming back to the USA. The big questions for me are...

      Do the current Alfas really have the driving dynamics that we (who haven't been able to drive one) all seem to think/hope they do?

      If so, will an Alfa on a Chrysler platform be able to retain those driving dynamics?

      I've been drooling over the 159 and 159 wagon for a few years, but if they have all the engagement of a Sebring when they get here I think there will be a huge disappointment both by the public, and by Alfa.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Badge engineering scares me.

      Alfas are still the best looking cars in the world.

      If somehow, they can make nice, reliable cars out of them for the American driving public, I'd buy one, as long as the beauty and the inherent "Italianess" of the design is not lost.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Badge engineering and Platform engineering are two completely different things. This is platform engineering. The only thing the Alphas would have in common with the Chryslers is the stuff you can't see and maybe some switch gear.
      • 4 Years Ago
      I'll believe it when I see it. I remember the same headlines except 2012 read 2009.
      • 4 Years Ago
      THOSE ARE CARS
      • 4 Years Ago
      "Chrysler's "compact wide" midsize architecture"

      What platform is that, the Sebring? An Alfa on a Sebring platform will be an Alfa in name only. Add to that Chryslers as rebadged Lancias and this has the makings of a total failure. Is it too late to get our (tax payer) money back?
        • 4 Years Ago
        compact wide is widened Fiat compact platform used on the Alfa Giulietta....
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