2009 Alfa Romeo 159 – Click above for high-res image gallery

The current Alfa Romeo 159 is a bit of a Jekyll-and-Hyde affair. Unspeakably gorgeous on the one hand, its aging, Saab-based platform means its dynamic performance doesn't come anywhere close to cashing the checks its aggressive styling writes out. So those enamored of its design will be happy, but those disappointed by its drive will be disappointed, to learn that the 159's replacement has reportedly been pushed back until 2012, thereby giving the current model a little longer to live.

This, according to Alfa's new boss Sergio Cravero – recently promoted after years as communications director following Luca de Meo's departure – in an interview with Italian daily La Stampa. The statement contradicts previous reports that the new sedan, dubbed Giulia in revival of the classic nameplate, was being rushed into development in light the current model's poor sales. Sources suggest – and by sources, we mean our own speculation – that the program has been postponed so that it can be integrated with a Chrysler platform, and could, like the replacement for the 166, be built in North America.

[Source: La Stampa]

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