Alfa Romeo 8C

Alfa Romeo to launch '8C Evo' for centenary

Alfa Romeo celebrates its 100th birthday in 2010, and CEO Luca De Meo says it will launch more new cars between now and then than it has in the last decade. The climax of this plan is to launch a new version of the 8C supercar. 'It will be a "super evoloution" of the 8C, with a new interior but the same basic shape,' said De Meo at last week's launch of the Mi.To supermini. The existing 8C has been a success for Alfa Romeo, boosting its image significantly. 'We need a car like this at the top, like a castle above a village,' said De Meo. 'It was more important to do the 8C than for us to make an SUV, and we'll do something similar again. If we take the 8C coupé and Spider together we have broken even with the project.' Nor will a new 8C be the only future rear-wheel drive Alfa Romeo. 'We can't use the 8C platform for other cars because it is too expensive and specialised, but we need rear-wheel drive for the 169 [the future large saloon] and some sporting cars,' De Meo revealed. He said that three or four cars would be needed for a viable range in the US, a market which Alfa Romeo is poised to re-enter with the warm knowledge that about 100 Alfa owners' clubs still exist there, and the 169 is part of that plan although a car of that size 'is not a business priority'. The plan includes the Mito, the upcoming 149 hatchback, an SUV which might be made in the US, Canada or Mexico to keep costs down, and ultimately a replacement for Alfa's 'core' car, the 159. The current version is too expensive to make and too heavy despite a recent diet involving sheet-metal panels thinner in the middle than at the edges. Meanwhile, the site of the former Alfa factory at Arese in Milan is being redeveloped to include a revamped museum, the company archives, a hotel and conference centre, a flagship dealer and, most significantly, Alfa's stand-alone styling centre. The main office buildings are being retained. De Meo is pleased that Alfa Romeos will be styled, if not engineered or built, in Milan again. 'The last true Alfa to be styled there was the 156,' he said.

View the 8C video here

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