Alfa Romeo hot hatchback in the works

First Audi, now Alfa Romeo - it seems everyone wants a hot hatchback to compete with BMW's popular MINI Cooper S. This one doesn't sound like blue-sky speculation though, with Automotive News Europe reporting that an Alfa Romeo "Junior" three-door hatchback has been green-lighted by parent company Fiat for a 2008 launch. The news marks a revival of the Alfa Junior nameplate, last used in the late '60s and early '70s.
The Junior will become Alfa's entry-level model, as the automaker tries to expand beyond its niche-market status. The Junior will be based on Fiat's successful Grande Punto platform, and will be built on a Fiat assembly line. At the top of the range, the Junior will be gifted with a 230 hp turbocharged direct-injection gasoline powerplant, married to Alfa's part-time four-wheel drive system. Milder models will feature both gas and diesel powerplants in a FWD configuration.

[Source: Automotive News Europe]

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