Micropost – Alfa Romeo 3-Series?

Alfa Romeo’s design chief, Alessandro Maccolini, denies that the new Giulia was inspired by the BMW 3-series. Instead, he cites the 156 as the main reference. 

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I added the Jaguar XE for comparison. My own view is that this is a matter of convergent evolution while also feeling that the resemblance to the 156 is, at best, passing and perhaps coincidental. Those strakes on the Alfa’s bodyside are not very original but the idea is quite generic anyway.

Author: richard herriott

I like anchovies. I dislike post-war town planning.

20 thoughts on “Micropost – Alfa Romeo 3-Series?”

  1. If Maccolini had any confidence in his design, and if he really thought it bore comparison with the excellent 156, he would have had the confidence to preview it devoid of the crass quadfrifoglio bodykit.

  2. I agree with Sean – I think it will be less appealing with 16in wheels and 50 section tyres, plain valances and bumpers, etc.. To my eyes, the Giulia has more in common with the BMW than the 156, The Jag does look rather better than I expected it would when put alongside the BMW and Giulia – restrained and rational, with more simple featuring along the flanks. The only reference to the 156 I can see in the Giulia is at the front. The only think about the Giulia I prefer to the 156 is the shorter front overhang wrought by dint of being RWD, not FWD.

    Press opinion seems to have decreed that the Giulia IS a looker, with TWBCM having produced a particularly gushing article on the back of a preview afforded to one of its journalists. There is no denying it has a certain obvious allure, but I still think it inferior in looks to both the 156 and 159. I do wish it well and would love to see Alfa revitalised and vibrant – if only I felt more belief in the management of the company behind it …

  3. I really don’t see the allure of the Giulia, unless it’s a damn fine drive. The only distinctive feature seems to be a very short boot lid, which suggests diminished luggage capacity. Of course the lads a TWBCM won’t mind about that because loadspace is for losers, no?

  4. I wasn’t a fan when I saw the first pictures, but I have to admit that the Giulia has grown on me in the meantime. I like its (or is it “her” for Alfisti?) stance. It looks particularoly slim, almost narrow, when viewed from front or back, something I consider pretty distinctive in a market of wider-and-lower. In that respect it is similar only to the 2007 BMW 1 series coupé.

  5. If there is a missed opportunity, it must be the shape and detailing of head- and tail lamps. I would prefer a more triangular look for the head lights instead of the BMW-esque shape. And thinner rear lights with nicer detailing inside. I believe they must have run out of time or budget. Let’s wait for the facelift…

  6. Given Marco Tencone’s involvement in Alfa 2.0, I’m hardly surprised that the Giulia is somewhat lacking in finesse. Just as with the current Maserati range, there are certain signposts included in the styling which are intended to scream ‘Italianate extravagance’ at the spectator, yet these are more akin to a weak citation, rather than an actual, inherent flavour.

  7. So, Daniel says they had enough time and I think they had enough money….they lacked a bit of inspiration. I really want to see the standard version. I think I might like that a bit more.

  8. When the Giulia 2 was first shown, everybody appeared to pile into the body crease along the flanks, suggesting it was a BMW rip off. But what I saw in that deep scallop was more of a homage to Ferrari’s current front-engined models. Not that this absolves Maccolini, Tencone or Ramiciotti – or indeed anyone else with involvement with the shape. I see the styling as hugely unadventurous without having any redeeming gravitas. As the eye is drawn to the rear three quarters I sense a weakness in the form there, which is very unsatisfying to my eyes. And while no great enthusiast for the XE, it’s a masterclass by comparison. Especially if you’re spared those tail lamps…

    Like Richard though, I’ll be very interested in seeing Giulia in more formal attire.

    1. I find myself reacting strangely to the comments here. Everyone’s made good points in isolation and I don’t say “hang on there!” to any of them. There is a wide range of views too, both very critical, quite positive and somewhere in between. This been DTW it’s safe to say the readership is critically informed. How is it we’re all half-right on this? It’s not that the car splits opinion only but unravels it.

  9. I don’t agree with the idea that they had plenty of time, they rushed development of that car in about 2 years in order to be able to show it on the 105th birthday of the brand.

    Krief to Car magazine: “It was 29 April 2013. I was working at Ferrari and received a phone call saying “You have to come and do the new Alfa, we have to do something totally different. So please take a bunch of guys, go somewhere and think about that. You have two years and two months!” (http://www.carmagazine.co.uk/car-news/industry-news/alfa-romeo/seven-surprises-on-new-alfa-romeo-giulia-revealed-by-chief-engineer/)

    The source of your misconception must be previous plans (before april 2013) to make a Giulia based on Giulietta front wheel drive architecture. It is safe to say that the switch from FWD to RWD in april 2013 necessitated a complete redesign (front overhang, rear overhang) and very likely was a start from scratch.

    1. Ah. Right. Those are facts. Two years and two months. That isn´t long. It´s safe to say that even if they had three months to design they didnt *feel* like they had a lot of time. Goodness. I have to ask who really cared if there was a 105th birthday in the offing? Isn´t that like one of those made-up deadlines they use on the Time Team? “The team have only seven days before a man from the BBC comes to the dig to bulldoze the 16th century ruin…” Still. Two years.

    2. Ah ok, I didn’t know that.
      But why, then, the delay for market entrance now? There seems to be plenty of time…

    3. The delay is only a rumor for the moment. The first Giulia QV’s are supposed to be delivered in december, so we’ll learn and see in one month.

      I think Sergio’s comments regarding a revision of the planning because of China are misunderstood. I believe the revision is less about the Giulia and its SUV version and more about the timing for the future large sedan and large SUV. It is safe to say that that larger sedan was probably mainly targeted at China. Now, with the bad Chinese economic situation, Sergio might be interested in adding a EU targeted model instead. A Giulia Sportswagon (a car that is currently not in the plan!) could possibly make up for the volume lost if the large sedan gets cancelled.

  10. If we’re choosing a 3 Series rip off, then the XE would be mine. I was prepared to not like it much at all, but having seen a few out and about (they’re particularly thick on the ground in Warwickshire), it looks for all the world like a BMW wearing a less ostentatious, more tailored suit. Sold!

  11. My second twopenneth (I have some shrapnel to get rid of and the parking meter doesn’t take copper coins) is that Alfa Romeo definitely missed a trick in completely ditching the 156/159 styling language. Or maybe they felt the market demands greater ostentation?

    1. That´s a good question but is that car actually ostentatious? I don´t love it but it´s not spangly. The 156/159 design might have given some continuity. The way I see it, there are so many views on this car that they will annoy someone whatever they did. At least someone cares. Ford can launch a whole new Mondeo which will affect more people in more ways and the world will yawn (unfairly as the car still matters), for example-

  12. Daniel: Alfa Romeo have been unlucky. Not only did they have a two year and two month development but then the car is still late to market! The reason for the delay is opaque. Something to do with the Chinese market? I don´t know. But the short lead time and then the delay seem to be unrelated. Imagine having five minutes to dress and then missing the bus anyway…something like that.

    1. An unlucky 4-leaf clover. Maybe that’s behind the delayed launch.

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