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Alfisti rejoice: The next Alfa Romeo Giulietta will land in 2017 with rear-wheel drive

Alfa Romeo’s ambitious revival plan calls for the launch of large sedans and crossovers that are in hot demand in key markets such as the United States and China. The Milan-based car maker can’t afford to forget Europe, and it’s also working on replacing the compact Giulietta hatchback. A new report sheds insight into what we can expect from it.

Aimed right at the BMW 1 Series and the Mercedes-Benz A-Class, the Giulietta will be positioned at the bottom of the Alfa lineup because the seven-year old MiTo — the car maker’s current entry-level offering — will not be replaced once it’s finally given the ax. The current Giulietta’s four-door hatchback body style will carry over to the new model, but it will ditch front-wheel drive and instead ride on a shortened version of the rear-wheel drive Giorgo platform that underpins the recently introduced Giulia sedan. The next 1 Series is widely expected to shift to BMW’s modular front-wheel drive UKL platform, so the Giulietta could end up being the only rear-wheel drive model in its segment.

While technical details are still being finalized, it’s safe to bet the Euro-spec Giulietta will ship be offered with turbocharged gasoline- and diesel-burning four-cylinder engines. The oil-burners will likely not be sold on our side of the pond, but we hear that Alfa will take on the BMW M135i and the Mercedes-AMG A45 with a range-topping model dubbed Giulietta Quadrifoglio Verde fitted with a turbo four tuned to pump out well over 300 ponies. Power will be sent to all four wheels.

Related: Alfa’s answer to M and AMG is called Quadrifoglio Verde

If British magazine Auto Express is correct, Alfa will present the new Giulietta at a major auto show in 2017 and begin selling the car shortly after. The current Giulietta (pictured) is a forbidden fruit, but the next-generation model is being developed with U.S. regulations in mind and it will be sold here as a 2018 model.