Geneva Show 2010 Highlights: 2011 Alfa Romeo Giulietta

This isn't just the new and sophisticated Alfa Romeo. Behold, also, Chrysler's life-support machine. The all-new platform under the Giulietta will also provide for several Fiats, and is planned for a generation of cars under Chrysler Group nameplates built in North America.

This includes replacements for the

• Chrysler PT Cruiser (MY2013)

• Dodge Caliber (MY2013)

• Jeep Compass (MY2014)

• Dodge Journey (MY2014)

• Chrysler Sebring/Dodge Avenger (MY 2015)

The Fiat group will provide underbodies for all future front-drive cars made by both the Fiat and Chrysler Groups. It will do this in three platforms. First is the baby or A-segment, the platform under the Fiat 500. Next is the B-car size, under the Alfa Romeo MiTo and Fiat Grande Punto, a Ford Fiesta rival in Europe. This B-platform is planned to provide a basis to revive the long-stalled Dodge Hornet project for MY2014.

Finally -- and most significantly for North America -- is this new C-platform. For the Giulietta, the platform begins life with front-drive, a sophisticated aluminum-intensive all-independent suspension, and a wheelbase of 103.7 inches.

Power goes up to 235 horsepower, using Alfa's own new '1750' engine. But the Chryslers will use, according to output, the Fiat 1.4 turbo made in Dundee, Michigan, or the Chrysler big fours. All these engines will have the option of Fiat's MultiAir ultra-variable vale control. (Watch it in action in Fiat's official video)

The new steel platform's floor is modular between the axles, and is designed for a wheelbase stretch for bigger cars. It's also protected for future all-wheel-drive applications. At the same time, engineers say its width can be extended, thus providing for a huge variety of car lines.

In return for these Fiat Group FWD underbodies, Chrysler will do the rear-drive and medium-to-large SUV platforms. That means Alfa Romeo will at last get the chance to return to its historical rear-drive sedan heritage for its biggest models.

Early reports indicated that the Giulietta and related Chryslers would use a derivative of Fiat's previous-generation platform of the same size, which underpins the Fiat Bravo and Lancia Delta (shown at Detroit as the Chrysler Design Study). But no, this Alfa really is pretty well all-new: shell, chassis, interior furniture structures. Even the HVAC system is all-new, and Alfa says it uses 30 percent less fuel than a normal system while increasing performance.

Thanks to: Motor Trend

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