There's Still Plenty Of Front-Wheel Drive In Alfa Romeo's Future

Remember all of that talk about Alfa Romeo switching entirely to rear-wheel drive? That reason, of course, justifying the launch of new mainstream cars being pushed back some more agonizing years. Well, Alfa may be getting a new rear-drive platform, but it isn't abandoning its old ways entirely. Oh, and new cars aren't coming any faster, either.

This is all according to Automotive News Europe and an extensive timetable sources say is what Sergio Marchionne is currently working with in order to resuscitate Alfa and make it a BMW competitor.

The 3-sized Giulia – originally supposed to be related to next year's new Chrysler 200 – is going rear-wheel drive on a platform being engineered at Maserati headquarters by a former Ferrari development boss.

In addition to underpinning future Chrysler 300s and Dodge Chargers and Challengers, that platform is slated for a long-delayed 5-series rival and successor to the long-dead, front-wheel drive 166. Something reportedly being considered are two new coupes to go after the 4 and 6-series, respectively.

But further down the range, Alfa apparently hasn't ceded the front-wheel drive programs like we were hoping. Instead, there are new MiTos and Giuliettas planned after all. And at least one of Alfa's SUVs will share the basis with a front-wheel drive Jeep.

Still, don't hold your breath for these yet-to-be-confirmed product plans, as there likely won't be a Giulia for you to buy in a Fiat dealership before 2016.

At least the most exciting pieces of the U.S.-bound Alfa Romeo lineup haven't changed. The 4C is here and the Miata-twinned Spider is coming in 2015. And both with rear-wheel drive, if you're keeping score.

Photo: Alfa Romeo