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Pontiac of the Month

360Rocket's 1970 GTO

2019 March
of the Month

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Car and Driver: Report Claims Crash Test Troubles Behind Alfa Romeo Giulia Delay

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2017 Alfa Romeo Giulia

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Although the 4C sports car marked Alfa Romeo’s return to North America (notwithstanding the ultra-limited-production 8C Competizione coupe and 8C Spider of a few years earlier), it is the Giulia sedan that really is tasked with reestablishing the brand’s presence here. Alfa has been somewhat vague in discussing timing for the all-new model, but at its unveiling last spring, the talk was that we should expect a market launch in the first half of 2016. Since then, the timing has slipped to the third quarter of this year. While company executives have characterized the delay as being due to technical fine-tuning, a report in Automotive News makes the more worrying assertion that it’s due to re-engineering required in the wake of a subpar performance in FCA’s internal front-, side-, and rear-impact crash tests.

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The allegation comes from sources at supplier companies, and was mentioned in a report that FCA has hired Roberto Fedeli (who comes from BMW but was previously chief engineer at Ferrari) to be chief technical officer at Alfa and Maserati. “A resounding false,” said a U.S. FCA spokesperson, commenting on the allegations and quoting a source at FCA in Europe “who should be in the know.”

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The Giulia was developed largely in secret in only two years by a dedicated team that was mostly segregated from the rest of Alfa Romeo. It rides on an all-new rear-wheel-drive architecture, and the company is claiming that it will offer best-in-class torsional rigidity. The Giulia is an all-important model for Alfa, not only in the U.S. but in Europe as well; it also will serve as the basis for a new crossover entry, which will be the brand’s next volume model. This is one that Alfa definitely has to get right.

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