Monday, June 17, 2013

Alfa Romeo 159 Replacement?

Sign Me Up!

If this rendering represents the replacement for Alfa Romeo's Tipo 159 then I think I want one!

Alfa Romeo Giulia Concept

The 159 has been a solid success for the FIAT Group and has soldiered on since it's Geneva reveal in 2005. However, it was not one of Alfa Romeo's finest cars. You could describe it as a 'Bit of a Bastard'!

World Premiere Tipo 159, Salon de l'Auto, Geneve, 2005

When the FIAT-General Motors merger was on the cards FIAT was looking to replace the Tipo 156, which had been very beautfully-styled by the now VW Group Chief Designer, Walter de Silva (who also produced the 147).

Alfa Romeo Tipo 156

At the time FIAT did not have a suitable 'platform' in development and GM offered the Italians a platform it had concocted, and intended to be used by Saab and Opel-Vauxhall.

GM's European companies kindly declined the offer, because they felt that the American-inspired platform was a bit clunky (meaning overweight). So this platform, which came from the USA, plus a bit of European input (a bit of this, and a bit of that) failed to find a home at GM.

FIAT jumped at the offer, and was not worried about the 'overweight' issue, as Alfa Romeo had indicated it might use the design as the basis for a Maserati V8-powered race car for the European touring car races (the platform strength being a bonus in controlling rigidity caused by the torquey V8). As it turned out Alfa Romeo could never raise the budget to go racing, so this platform ended up just being too heavy.

So the rather 'lumpy' platform was sent off to Torino to Ital Design for father and son, Giorgetto and Fabrizio Giugiaro, to weave some kind of magic, to produce the 159.
The Master! Giorgetto Giugiaro

And they did weave magic! As far as I'm concerned the Tipo 159 could be one of the most beautiful Alfa Romeo sedans ever conceived. It's a hard act to follow.

Especially considering that this Giulia concept was initiated within Alfa Romeo's Centro Stile studio - by the same guys responsible for the truly awful Mito and Giulietta - which are sad-looking cars (IMHO).

Having somewhat redeemed themselves with the 4C coupe, I think this 159 replacement is a pretty snappy looking car. We'll have to wait and see what transpires.
Alfa Romeo Giulia Concept - Photo from AUTO EXPRESS

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