Alfa Romeo denies Giulia delay is due to crash test issues

alfa romeo denies giulia crash test rumor 150624 hp1 1
The Alfa Romeo Giulia is a crucial part of the brand’s U.S. comeback strategy, but back in November it was reported that the car’s launch would be pushed back six months. By itself, that’s more frustrating than unusual. But a recent report claimed the delay was for a very serious reason.

Citing unnamed supplier sources, Automotive News claimed Alfa had to delay the Giulia’s launch because the car failed internal crash tests. The sources said substantial re-engineering was required, forcing the six-month delay for both European and North American launches. But Alfa now says that report was incorrect.

The crash-test story is “not accurate or representative at all,” an Alfa spokesperson told Road & Track. The spokesperson reaffirmed that Alfa still plans to launch the Giulia in the U.S. in “late second quarter 2016,” matching the revised timeline reported in November. The high performance Quadrifoglio model will arrive first, followed by other versions. The Giulia was originally supposed to go on sale in Europe early this year, followed by a U.S. launch.

If all goes well, the Giulia could cement Alfa’s return to the U.S. in a way the low-volume 4C sports car never could. It also looks like an enthusiast’s dream. The Giulia targets the BMW 3 Series, but is much more stylish than the staid German offering. And the Quadrifoglio version boasts a 503-horsepower, twin-turbocharged, Ferrari-derived V6. It does 0 to 60 mph in 3.9 seconds, and lapped the Nürburgring in a scorching 7:39, according to Alfa.

So if the Giulia really is as good as it sounds, a six-month delay probably won’t be too big of a deal in the long run. But this isn’t the only product-launch delay Alfa is dealing with. As part of its revised five-year plan, parent Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) announced some changes to Alfa’s product-launch timeline. A blitz of new models that was originally supposed to take place between 2014 and 2018 is being pushed back, and FCA is also cutting R&D, manufacturing, and product-development investments in the Italian car maker.

What effect this will ultimately have on Alfa’s U.S. comeback remains to be seen, but with the Giulia spearheading the arrival of new mainstream Alfa models, bad publicity is exactly what the car maker doesn’t need.

Product Review

The all-new 3 Series proves BMW can still build a compelling sport sedan

Seat time in the entry-level BMW 330i ($41,425) and M340i xDrive ($54,995) will test the German automaker’s commitment to driving dynamics, powertrain refinement, and cutting edge technology.
Product Review

Inside Maserati's Levante SUV beats the heart of a Ferrari

Maserati’s luxury SUV gets a shot in the arm by way of Ferrari-derived V8 power, but is it enough to go toe-to-toe with the established players in the high performance sport-utility segment? Let’s find out.
Cars

2020 Toyota Supra caught hiding in a trailer without a shred of camouflage

Toyota's plan to once again lure enthusiasts into showrooms involves bringing back the Supra, one of its most emblematic nameplates. Here's what we know so far about the upcoming coupe, which Toyota is developing jointly with BMW.
Web

Can Microsoft’s Airband Initiative close broadband gap for 25M Americans?

A new report from the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) says that 25 million Americans do not have access to broadband internet. Of these, more than 19 million are living in rural communities. Can Microsoft help out?
Cars

NYC mandates minimum wage for Uber, Lyft, other app-based rideshare drivers

New York City's Taxi and Limousine Commission approved a rule that drivers for companies such as Uber and Lyft must be paid at least minimum wage, even though they are independent contractors. The new pay rate includes operating costs.
Cars

LM Industries’ autonomous shuttles head to Phoenix, Sacramento campuses

LM Industries will deploy Olli low-speed autonomous shuttles at school campuses in Arizona and California as part of its ongoing "fleet challenge," which asks local groups to propose uses for autonomous vehicles.
Cars

Driving a prototype 2020 Passat at Volkswagen’s Arizona Proving Ground

Volkswagen’s Arizona Proving Ground is where new cars are tested to the breaking point, including the 2020 Passat midsize sedan. Ride along as the new Passat completes testing ahead of its 2019 launch.
Cars

Bosch’s CES-bound shuttle concept takes us on a trip to a not-too-distant future

Bosch envisions a future in which driverless shuttles occupy their own market segment. The German firm won't build the shuttles, but it wants to provide everything else, ranging from the drive system to the apps used to hail them.
Emerging Tech

A lidar-equipped truck knows exactly how much de-icer to apply on roads

Lidar is best known as the laser-based technology that helps self-driving cars sense their surroundings. But the city of Knoxville has another, more seasonal use for it: De-icing roads.
Product Review

Boring takes a back seat as 2019 Corolla Hatchback mixes fun with practicality

We drive the 2019 Toyota Corolla Hatchback, the latest hatchback to bear the Corolla name. As the best-selling nameplate in automotive history, Toyota has high expectations to meet. This model mostly lives up to the legacy.
Cars

Hertz speeds up car rentals with biometric scan technology

Biometric security technology that uses face, fingerprint, and voice recognition is gaining traction, with Hertz emerging as the latest company to incorporate it into its daily operations.
Mobile

McLaren puts the pedal to the metal in special-edition OnePlus 6T

The OnePlus 6T is yet another flagship killer smartphone, bringing powerful specifications to a much lower price than the competition. Now, OnePlus has teamed up with McLaren for the OnePlus 6T McLaren Edition.
Cars

Aston Martin’s 1,000-hp Valkyrie will boast the Mona Lisa of the engine world

Aston Martin has released new details about its F1-inspired Valkyrie hypercar. Co-developed with Red Bull Racing, the Valkyrie will be one of the most aerodynamic production cars ever made.
Cars

The redesigned 2020 Passat shows Volkswagen still believes in sedans

The sedan segment in America is shrinking, but Volkswagen still believes in it. The German firm has released a teaser sketch to preview the redesigned 2020 Passat it will introduce during the 2019 Detroit Auto Show.