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Future models - Alfa Romeo - 169

Alfa thinks big

Aged: 166 will soon make way for a bigger, and possibly rear-drive, successor.

Alfa Romeo's long-time-coming 166 replacement and its first SUV are in the wings

27 Sep 2007

ALFA Romeo is poised to release a new large luxury car in 2009, followed soon after by its long-awaited BMW X5 rival.

The 169 will be presented as a sort of affordable Maserati Quattroporte, with styling that is reminiscent – if not similar.

Speculation indicates that the 8C sports car nose design is a good guide as to what the 169 will look like. We do know that this car’s length will not fall too far short of five metres.

This should improve the rear-seat space as compared to Alfa’s current luxury car offering, the ageing 166.

Exactly what lurks underneath the next Alfa four-door luxury sedan is still shrouded in mystery.

26 center imageFrom top: Kamal concept, 8C Competitizione and Maserati Quattroporte.

Many reports suggest that Maserati will donate some of the rear-wheel drive components from the Quattroporte, although this scenario does not seem likely, as it would price the Alfa Romeo well above the current car’s sub-$100,000 pricetag.

The other possibility is that the 169 will probably be transverse engined, and is expected to employ a development of the 159’s premium front-wheel drive platform.

However, we understand that this may lead to a switch to all-wheel drive on all but the most basic models, to better place the Alfa against the Audi A6, BMW 5 Series and Mercedes-Benz E-class. Expect the 169 to also use a version of the Australian-made 3.2-litre HFV6 powerplant, mated exclusively to the Aisin six-speed automatic gearbox.

In the future, there may even be a V8 installation according to one source, although this may be tied to the rear-drive Maserati connection.

Fellow Fiat and Alfa stablemate Lancia may also use the basis for the 169 for its next-generation luxury car.

“The rollout program will be 169 and then the Crossover,” said the spokesman for Alfa’s Australian importer Ateco Automotive, Edward Rowe.

Meanwhile, the latter is Alfa’s one-time on-again/off-again SUV, which is now well-advanced and heading for Australia sometime in 2010.

“There was a show car called Kamal, but this one will be totally different,” Mr Rowe said.

“This crossover will be bigger, it will be a sort of sporty people-mover/SUV/4WD.” The Kamal was Alfa’s 2003 Geneva motor show concept that hinted to where the company was thinking of heading towards in its quest for a premium SUV.

The Alfa SUV will probably be built on the 159 premium platform, but with substantial changes to allow for the all-wheel drive ability, as well as the differing requirements of a crossover.

“That platform is a very flexible platform. For Alfa Romeo it will be a sporty five-seat car, and for Fiat (which will share the Alfa’s underpinnings) it will be a seven-seater crossover,” Mr Rowe revealed.

The European press have already dubbed it the CXover, although Mr Rowe says a name has not yet been chosen.

Large cars coming from Alfa Romeo:
169 2009
SUV 2010

Read more:

Alfa secrets laid bare

Future small Alfas revealed

First look: Alfa concept crosses over

Sydney show: Alfa debuts 8C, Spider

First look: Alfa sheds light on 8C Competizione

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