The current Alfa Romeo Giulietta hatchback (above) has struggled to make an impact in the compact premium market in the face of fierce competition from the Audi A3, Mercedes A-Class and BMW 1 Series. The Italian brand is hoping to rectify this, however, with a much sportier replacement due sometime in 2017.
According to carscoops, Alfa Romeo’s passenger vehicle design boss Alberto Dillilo has confirmed that the replacement model will sit on a lightly modified version of the Giulia’s chassis. That chassis is designed to be rear-wheel drive – often the reserve of sporty and luxurious cars – meaning the new Giulietta could present a significantly tougher challenge to established German rivals.
2017 Alfa Romeo Giulietta styling
Seeking to replicate the success of its German competition, Alfa Romeo is likely to replicate the styling seen on the Giulia in a smaller package for the Giulietta. This means the front end should still have the brand’s inverted triangle centre grille flanked by gaping lower air intakes. Slim headlights and a bulging bonnet will complete the front’s menacing look.
The rear will probably see the most changes going from the Giulia’s compact saloon body to a traditional hatchback style. This means a shorter rear overhang and possibly a more raked rear windscreen. The same slim taillights featured on the Giulia are likely to be fitted here with only minor modifications.
2017 Alfa Romeo Giulietta interior
Much like the exterior, the interior is expected to share many components with the Giulia saloon to save on development costs. We expect the same thin-rimmed steering wheel, analogue gauges either side of a colour screen and a central infotainment display to feature in the Giulietta.
Being based on the same platform, the Giulietta is unlikely to lose much rear head- or legroom to the larger Giulia but the hatchback body and rear-wheel-drive architecture mean boot space might be smaller than some front-driven rivals. Material quality remains to be seen but it’ll have to be exceptional to rival offerings from Mercedes and Audi.
2017 Alfa Romeo Giulietta specs and engines
Alfa Romeo’s decision to use a version of the Giulia’s rear-wheel-drive chassis brings two distinct advantages – it allows the brand to save money on both car’s development costs and gives it a unique selling point compared to rivals. Currently, the BMW 1 Series is the only hatchback to offer rear-wheel drive but its replacement will move to the Mini’s front-wheel drive platform – giving the Alfa the potential to be unique in it is class and the go-to choice for enthusiasts attracted by company’s long history in motorsport.
Performance fans generally prefer rear-wheel drive cars for their more natural steering feel, better front end grip under acceleration and sense of ‘rotation’ under throttle.
Engines have yet to be confirmed but a range of turbocharged petrol and diesel engines are expected. Petrols could include the 1.4-litre used in the current Giulietta with power outputs ranging from 120 to 170hp. More powerful variants could use the 1.75-litre turbo from the 4C or the new 2.0-litre from the Giulia with between 200 and 280hp.
Diesels could include 1.6 and 2.2-litre models with power from 120 to around 210hp. A high performance Quadrifoglio Verde version will probably joint the range at a later date offering around 300hp and possibly four-wheel drive to rival the Audi RS3 and Mercedes A45 AMG.
2017 Alfa Romeo Giulietta price and release date
With the new platform we expect the price to increase slightly – it could cost from £20,000 when it goes on sale. We expect to see early photographs towards the end of 2016 with the car actually hitting the road in 2017.
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