There’s been a fair bit of interest about the new supermini that is due to be launched onto the market by Alfa Romeo. In the face of skyrocketing crude oil prices and the phenomenal success of other superminis such as the re-vamped Mini and Fiat 500, its not surprising that Alfa Romeo decided to create a player in this field.
For ages, this Alfa Romeo was known as the Alfa Romeo Junior. “Junior” was a codename coined by the media and was never adopted by Alfa Romeo for this little ripper. The actual name of the new Alfa Romeo was “up for grabs,” with the final name put to the vote throughout Europe. Twelve names were put forward for the vote. Now, what would you call a hot Italian supermini like the Alfa Romeo “Junior”? Would it be Mod, Enos, Ventura, Milo, Sparvo, Agea, Nevo, Solea, Velvetta, Everso, Fira or Furiosa?
In the end, Furiosa won the competition and so instead of the Alfa Romeo Junior, we can now talk about the Alfa Romeo Furiosa. However, there are a few people that aren’t happy with how the online voting was run, so maybe it will be the Alfa Romeo Junior after all!
While the competition was running, the sneak-preview people were hanging around Alfa Romeo’s Turin factories and testing grounds trying to find out all they can about the Alfa Romeo “Junior”. A few things were discovered, such as the fact that the Alfa Romeo Furiosa, as it has ultimately been christened, is based on the Fiat Punto platform and has looks (as far as we can tell from the spy picks and preliminary sketches released officially) that are reminiscent of the legendry old Alfasud of days gone by but with an edgy modern twist.
But to cut the cackle and to get to the real business, what is the Alfa Romeo Furiosa like and what can it do? After all, with a name like “Furiosa”, you’d expect it to be able to deliver the goods. Rumours have been circulating online about new F1 technology hiding under the hood of the Alfa Romeo Furiosa. Are they right?
Well, online sources say that the new Alfa Romeo Furiosa, due to be released in May 2008, carries either a 1.4, 1.6 or 1.8 litre petrol engine with a 6-speed transmission, either manual or Selespeed semiautomatic. The Alfa Romeo Furiosa will also be the first non-Ferrari machine to be fitted with the Manettino system in its safety features, which also include active SDC suspension.
The Alfa Romeo Furiosa/Junior is also one of two new cars to feature camless technology in its engine (the other is the new Fiat 500). This technology was indeed developed first for the F1 track and is seen as an ideal way of reducing petrol consumption and emissions.
The exact details of the Alfa Romeo Furiosa are still sketchy at this stage, as the official launch will not take place until the Geneva Motor Show. It’s also going to be quite a while until the Alfa Romeo Furiosa makes it over to Australia, except via private imports.
In the meantime, however, it will be “watch this space” for breaking news about the Alfa Romeo Furiosa – or Junior, whatever you want to call it!
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