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Alfa Romeo’s new Giulia taunts BMW’s M3 with a 503 hp, Ferrari-built V6

Alfa Romeo is on the warpath. FCA boss Sergio Marchionne has stated that he wants the Italian brand to be producing vehicles on the level of German automakers like Audi and BMW. That means 400,000 annual vehicle sales by 2018 with a third of those models being purchased in the U.S.

To achieve that figure, Alfa Romeo is planning a full lineup, including the 4C sports car, a full-size sedan, a pair of SUVs, a second midsized sedan, another 4C-style model, two compact cars, and the 2016 Giulia sedan. Aimed at the BMW 3 Series and Audi A4, the Giulia will likely be a global model, and that makes me very happy.

Here’s why:

Out of the gate, the new Giulia will be offered in a higher performance designation with 50/50 weight distribution; rear-wheel drive; a six-speed manual transmission or dual-clutch automatic; torque-vectoring; a carbon fiber hood, roof, and propeller shaft; active aerodynamics; and a Ferrari-built turbocharged V6 with 503 horsepower at its disposal.

Related: An Alfa Romeo SUV is Coming To The U.S. in 2016

The 2016 Giulia’s power-to-weight ratio will be less than 3kg per hp, which equates to less than 3,300 pounds. That, and its monstrous power contribute to a brief zero-to-60 mph time of 3.9 seconds. That figure matches the new M3’s sprint, and its hardware suggests the Italian sport sedan will be more than able to hang with Germany’s best on a track.

Inside, the cabin appears to be all about the driver. The steering wheel has Ferrari-esque integrated controls and an ergonomic design. As for its exterior design, the large air inlets, narrow headlights, carbon fiber-trimmed body kit, rear diffuser, and quad exhausts communicate the Giulia’s high-performance intentions quite clearly.

The 2016 Alfa Romeo Giulia is expected to arrive at U.S. dealerships late next year, and it will debut at the Frankfurt Motor Show this September.