European customers have been eagerly anticipating the replacement for the aging Alfa Romeo 147. Tentatively referred to as the 149, the new five-door hatchback, tipped to receive a new nameplate outside the three-digit numeric designation, will be positioned slightly above the three-door MiTo hatch. As with the new MiTo, styling is expected to borrow the themes laid out by the 8C Competizione, which should translate better to the increased dimensions of the 149/Giulia over the more cartoonish looks of its smaller sibling.

Expect a range of gasoline and diesel engines, which could be topped by a 265-horsepower GTA version. Sources now suggest the 149 will be unveiled in a bit over a year from now at the Frankfurt show for market roll-out anticipated in late summer 2009, and will spearhead the new "C-Evo" platform based on the underpinnings from the Fiat Bravo and Lancia Delta.


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