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April 30, 2010

FIRST LOOK: Alfa Romeo Giulietta

On sale in most Continental left-hand drive markets in May, the all-new Alfa Romeo Giulietta will replace the 147 in the C-segment.

On sale in most Continental left-hand drive markets in May, the all-new Alfa Romeo Giulietta will replace the 147 in the C-segment.

Alfa Romeo is pitching the Giulietta against cars at the upper, prestige end of the segment such as the Audi A3, VW Golf and BMW 1-series, with what it claims is a combination of better ride and handling as well as a better package in terms of standard equipment for the price. In the Euro zone the car will be priced from EUR20,500 and in the UK this translates to GBP16,995. The Giulietta goes on sale in the UK in July.

Five engines will be available from launch all matched to six-speed manual gearboxes. The entry point is the 120hp 1.4-litre petrol engine which produces 149g/km of CO2 and has an official combined fuel figure of 6.4l/100km (44.1mpg). A 170hp version of the 1.4-litre turbocharged petrol is also available and produces less CO2 at 134g/km and is more efficient at 5.8l/100km (48.7mpg) thanks to Alfa’s hydraulic variable valve timing Multiair technology.

At the top of the range is the 235hp 1.75-litre turbocharged petrol engine powering the Cloverleaf model with a CO2 figure of 177g/km and fuel figure of 7.6l/100km (37.2mpg).

There are two diesels; a 105hp 1.6 and a 170hp 2.0. The 1.6-litre diesel comes in at 114g/km for CO2 and 4.4l/100km (64.2mpg), while the 2.0 diesel’s stats are 124g/km and 4.7l/100km (60.1mpg).

While Alfa Romeo is remaining tight lipped about individual country sales targets, its production aim is 100,000 a year for Europe.

The five-door hatchback sits on a new platform dubbed ‘Compact’ which is 23% stiffer than the 147’s which uses aluminium and high-strength steels, it also weighs 41kg less than the 147’s platform.

Alfa claims this new platform will help give the Giulietta a class-leading EuroNCAP score.

As with sister car the Mito, all Giuliettas come with Alfa’s DNA system which allows the driver to select between Dynamic, Normal or All-weather settings for the stability control systems, steering and throttle response.

All models are also equipped with stop-start technology bar the Cloverleaf.

In mainland Europe two trim levels will be offered; Progressive and Distinctive coupled to two option packs called Sport and Premium which give different suspension settings and wheel sizes. In the UK, however, there will be three trim levels. Turismo and Lusso will be on comfort suspension settings and Veloce will use the stiffer, sportier suspension set-up with larger alloy wheels.

Expanding the range later this year will be the addition of a twin-clutch gearbox and, speaking at the car’s launch, Alfa’s CEO Harald Wester said a C-segment SUV would also be built on this platform and arrive before 2014.

Tristan Young

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