Alfa Romeo 4C Concept

If this story sounds familiar, that's because we've seen it before: Alfa Romeo will arrive in the United States with a sportscar that will spearhead the arrival of a broader range of models. That was the line with the 8C Competizione, but that model has come and gone without its junior stablemates. And when Alfa unveiled the 4C Concept in Geneva a couple of months ago, that was the story once again: not only would it see production, but it would headline the marque's return to the North American market.

Now we've got a few more details, though. Rather than bringing over existing models like the MiTo and Giulietta, Alfa Romeo is hard at work preparing new models specifically for American tastes. One model is expected to be an SUV based on the Jeep Grand Cherokee – leaving us to wonder if this will come instead of, or in addition to Maserati's rumored version. But beyond that is the new Giulia sedan that will replace the 159.

The project was reportedly well under way until the design landed on Fiat/Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne's desk, prompting him to order a full redesign. Apparently the styling was rather derivative and lackluster. For his part, the company's experienced styling chief Lorenzo Ramaciotti says he and his team are doing the best they can with what they're given: the company's Compact Wide architecture based on the Giulietta's platform, which Ramaciotti says is like designing a suit for a fat lady instead of a model.

The literal "back to the drawing board" order from Marchionne's office may lead to further setbacks, so to keep your interest piqued we've dug up this rather intriguing video of the 4C Concept heading from the studio to the show floor in high speed. At this point, we thought we'd seen concept cars from just about every angle, but this is something different, so why not click past the jump to watch the brief clip for yourself.