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Peter Anderson | Mar 9, 2012

Alfa Romeo loyalists and 159 owners have an even longer wait ahead of them if they want to see Italy's answer to the 3 Series in their driveways.

The brand's new midsized fighter in the prestige market, expected to be called Giulia, is now not expected until 2014.

At a Geneva press conference, Fiat CEO Sergio Marchionne announced that, contrary to earlier reports attributing the holdup to "architecture problems," the car's production delay is due to a lack of powertrains "that match the DNA of the brand".

Not having an appropriate engine rather puts a damper on proceedings. What is most mystifying is that between Fiat and Chrysler, there isn't a single engine the company can think to slot under the bonnet.

Last year we reported Marchionne had delayed almost every new car Alfa had on its slate until the European economy sorted itself out.

Alfa dealers currently have just two cars to offer: the MiTo light car and the Golf-sized Giulietta hatch. The Giuilietta has been a surprise hit in Europe, but newer and more modern competitors are on the horizon.

Without a clear direction for the brand, there must be some edgy sales people around the world.

Alfa's only other new car looks to be the 4C sports coupe first shown at last year's Geneva Motor Show, expected to go on sale in the next 18 months... maybe.

With the Giulia now at least two years away, it's looking like a lean time for long-suffering Alfa Romeo fans.

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