Alfa Romeo has dropped the biggest hint yet that its Giulietta hatch will transition to a rear-wheel-drive platform when an all-new replacement arrives, possibly some time next year.
Speaking to UK mag Auto Express at a recent Fiat-Chrysler event, the company's head of passenger car design, Alberto Dillilo, said the next Giulietta "will be based on a shortened version of the Giulia's platform".
Asked if that meant it would be RWD, Dillilo responded "it’s possible, technically”.
But it's not just "technically" possible - RWD would be almost mandatory if the next Giulietta makes use of the Giulia's (below) underpinnings.
The Alfa Romeo Giulia's platform (referred to internally as the "Giorgio" architecture) is an all-steel platform built to accommodate rear- or all-wheel-drive layouts with a longitudinally-mounted engine at the front.
(It is distinct from the aluminium/steel blend of the Quattroporte/Maserati Ghibli platform, though both platforms were designed by the same team.)
Arguably, adapting such a platform to take a FWD drivetrain wouldn't just be nonsensical, but an engineering headache. Ergo, Alfa's next hatchback will take power to the rear wheels - or all four.
While it's been reported that the Giorgio platform is physically able to scale down to something the size of a Giulietta hatch, Dillilo's comment is the first confirmation that the next-generation Alfa small car will make use of that architecture.
By the time it arrives - which should be some time in 2017 assuming the current-gen Giulietta (above) enjoys a typical six-year lifespan - it should give Alfa Romeo a real point of difference in the small premium passenger car segment.
With Fiat-Chrysler set to kick off sales of the Giulia with its M3 and C63-rivalling Alfa Romeo Giulia QV sports sedan, a similar performance-led strategy for the next Giulietta could also see Alfa take over from BMW as the only brand with a high-output RWD hot hatch in its inventory.
Expect to hear more about Alfa Romeo's plans for the Giulietta later this year.
[Source: Auto Express]