Alfa Romeo Dropping Hatches, Switching To Rear-Wheel-Drive? Report Photo:
TMR Team | Jul, 22 2013 | 2 Comments

There's big changes on the horizon for Fiat's Alfa Romeo marque if new reports out of Europe this week are to be believed.

According to Britain's Car magazine, Fiat boss Sergio Marchionne wants to move the Alfa brand further upmarket, switching exclusively to rear-wheel-drive (RWD) in the process.

The new plan has reportedly called for another delay on Alfa's upcoming Giulia sedan. A switch to a RWD configuration will perhaps mean 'starting over', and perhaps further slowed if interior quality is to be boosted to take on the prestige establishment - like, think German.

Until now, the Giulia was expected to debut early next year, riding on the front-wheel-drive platform that underpins the Dodge Dart and its Fiat Viaggio twin.

Instead, the Giulia will reportedly use a shortened version of the platform that underpins Maserati's Ghibli sedan - itself a cutdown take on the new Quattroporte's architecture.

The same architecture is expected to be used under a larger 5 Series-rivalling Alfa flagship, along with the next-generation Dodge Challenger.

But for the Giulia, such a significant change coming so late in the development process means that production is now unlikely to begin until 2015 or later.

The re-imagined Giulia would join the upcoming 4C coupe and the new Spider roadster, developed in partnership with Mazda.

The report adds that Alfa will also ditch the Mito and Giulietta hatches, focusing instead on sedans and two-door lifestyle models.

However, with Fiat looking to boost Alfa's sales from 100,000 units in 2012 to over 300,000 in the coming years, it is unlikely that hatches - among the best-selling models in all segments - would disappear from the Alfa range.

Front-wheel-drive models are also cheaper to produce - even BMW is embracing the configuration for its future volume-selling models - so it remains to be seen if Alfa will drop the option all-together.

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