Alfa 147 replacement spy pictures revealed under disguise

Alfa Romeo’s comeback as a serious auto maker hinges on three vehicles. The 159, the 8C Competizione and the 149. We’ve got snaps of the 149, the successor to the 147, caught under the skin of a heavily disguised Fiat Bravo. Its expected date of release is mid-2009. Before that we can expect to see it during one of the major motor shows this year.

The 149 is long, measuring some 4.3 metres, which is not far off the old 156. Only the five-door derivative, which platform is based on the Fiat Bravo’s, will be available for sale. This means fewer models to choose from than before, but certainly does not necessarily mean fewer engines. The range of powerplants will include the new 1.4 T-Jet and M-jet family of engines producing 120BHP/89kW and 265BHP/198kW for the GTA version, which should sport a V6 under the hood. A six-speed manual and automatic will be choice gearboxes for customers.

Alfa Romeo customers are typically aged between 27 and 40, so the absence of a three-door derivative makes sense as these folks are likely to be family-oriented, not only looking for sporty inclination in their cars, but also for space. The 147 will be well-pitched to help Alfa regain its footing in the leading US market where the brand has just returned. For this particular market the automatic gearbox will be the choice one, and hopefully their woeful semi-automatic gearbox Selespeed is not an option. European pricing will be around €20 000 for the base model.

Gallery: New Alfa 149 Spied Winter Testing