Alfa Romeo Giulietta revealed
* Unveil at Geneva motor show * Sporty alternative to VW Golf and Ford Focus * Stability control fitted as standard...
This is the Alfa Romeo Giulietta the car that Alfa hopes will provide a sporty alternative to the likes of the Volkswagen Golf and Ford Focus.
The Giulietta will be officially unveiled at the Geneva motor show in March next year.
Changing times for Alfa
Until recently, it was expected that Alfa would call the car which replaces the 147 the Milano and unveil it at the Bologna motor show. Instead, it is using Giulietta, a name that was first used on a range of its cars in the 1950s.
The modern-day Giulietta is based on a new platform, built from aluminium and high-strength steel, and will use the latest electronic driver aids.
Stability control will be standard across the range, as will Alfa's DNA system (as fitted on the Alfa Mito supermini) that allows the driver to tailor the responses of the engine, steering and stability control to their liking.
At 4.35 metres long and 1.46 metres high, the Giulietta is slightly longer than a Ford Focus, but not as tall, and its 350-litre boot is a little smaller than the Ford's.
The Giulietta's body has distinctive Alfa Romeo looks, with a new version of the company's grille in the front bumper, LED elements in the front and rear lights, concealed rear door handles and a coupe-like profile to give the car a more wedge-like shape.
Inside, the dashboard has been deliberately designed with aluminium detailing and rocker controls that echo those of the company's 8C supercar.
When, and what's under the bonnet?
The Giulietta will go on sale in spring 2010, although Alfa can't confirm exactly when it will arrive in Britain.
Likewise, there are no details about which models will come to the UK, although in Europe there will be a choice of four engines: two petrol and two diesel units, from 1.4- to 2.0-litres and from 104- to 168bhp. All cars will be fitted with an engine start-stop system to improve economy and lower emissions.
The range is then topped off by a version of the 1750 TBi petrol engine recently introduced to the 159 range.