THE all-new Alfa Romeo Giulietta is set to hit the Namibian market for the first time in January 2011 after its splashy debut across Europe this year.

The car’s dealers, Spes Bona, Fiat and Alfa have confirmed the launched slated for end of January next year.

The five-door hatchback brings back a classic Alfa name from the previous century for a vehicle with a very 21st-century lineup of energy-efficient engines.

It is the first application of Alfa’s Compact platform, which is expected to be used on future Fiat products including a Giulia sedan that will replace the current Alfa Romeo 159, as well as on future Chryslers.

The most sporting Giulietta will be the Quadrifoglio Verde, coming later, which will offer a direct-injection 1.8-liter turbo, making 235 hp. The Quadrifoglio Verde version will boast a lowered suspension, 17-inch wheels with 18-inchers optional, red Alfa brake calipers on an enhanced braking system, and leather and microfiber seating.

The Giuiletta will be sold in “all the major markets,” on the continent, Esther Senekal, of Spes Bona Namibia says.

The Giulietta is the second new vehicle Alfa has introduced to replace the long-serving 147 hatchback, joining the three-door MiTo in anchoring the brand’s range while reviving a classic nameplate for the marque. Stylistically, it’s also the third model to follow the company’s newest design direction, following the lead set by the flagship 8C Competizione and the aforementioned MiTo. And while the styling may have lost some fans in its transition from supercar to supermini, it appears to translate better to the Giulietta’s longer frame better.

Its interior, despite the relatively high belt-line – especially in the back –has a much airier look and feel than the more cocooning MiTo, thanks in part to the expansive optional sunroof. It’s also packed with all the features you’d expect of a new product from a major automaker, topped by an options list that includes Bose sound, TomTom nav and the Blue&Me connectivity system developed with Microsoft.

Market-wise, the Giulietta presents a compelling case. Although its upscale stature, coveted badge and equipment list puts it squarely in league with premium hatchbacks like the Audi A3 and BMW 1 Series, its pricing comes closer to a Golf or Focus, Vauxhall Astra giving Alfa a serious contender against models in both segments.

But as important a product as the new Giulietta is for Alfa Romeo and its parent company Fiat, it’s also the harbinger of things to come for the brand and the rapidly expanding auto giant.

The Alfa Romeo Giulietta is expected to give new impetus to the brand in one of Africa’s most important segments.

In the Centenary year, the name is a tribute to an automobile myth and Alfa Romeo. The Giulietta is a car that, in the fifties, caught the imagination of generations of car enthusiasts, making the dream of owning an Alfa Romeo and enjoying the high level of comfort and technical excellence accessible for the first time.

This new Giulietta is a sports car capable of expressing both great agility on the most demanding routes and providing comfort on everyday roads.

A new architecture for enhancing road hold and agility in total comfort and safety

It is a compact created to appeal to customers who seek top dynamic performance and those who are looking for a distinctive style and a high level of comfort.

The Giulietta has brand-new architecture, designed to meet the expectations of the most demanding customers in terms of road holding, agility and safety. Its excellent dynamic performance and great comfort are the result of refined technical solutions implemented in the suspensions, a next-generation steering system, a rigid yet light structure made of aluminium and high-strength steel, and state-of-the-art manufacturing technologies.

Italian style sportiness and comfort

Combining sportiness and elegance, the Alfa Giulietta is the result of Alfa Romeo’s new direction in style and technology – an approach that started with the 8C Competizione supercar and which recalls the brand’s glorious past while projecting its traditional values of technology and emotion into the future.

The front end is developed around a “trilobe shape” and features a brand-new interpretation of the classic Alfa grille, set into the front bumper and suspended between the two air intakes. The entire car develops from here to combine a lively personality with an elegant form. The front headlamps implement LED technology and a Daytime Running Lights (DRL) function for maximum active safety.

The profile of the Alfa Romeo Giulietta is rich in personality and confers the appearance of an agile, solid model. This is above all the result of the coupé shaped side windows, which highlight dynamic and streamlined shape, and of the concealed rear handles. The side ribbing adds to the car’s slender look, while the taut lines closing in on the rear end accentuate the “wedge” shape of the body.

The style of the rear end, like that of the front and the side, is strong and consolidates the impression of a muscular car, firmly gripped to the road. Like the headlamps, the rear light clusters implement LED technology, to the advantage of preventive safety, in addition to good looks.

The interior design is taut and light: a horizontally developed dashboard with aluminium element accents and rocker controls which explicitly recall the 8C Competizione. Painstaking attention to detail and the high quality of the materials used are the most advanced expression of Italian style.

Finally, the dimensions of the new car give a compact, dynamic shape combined with excellent roominess and a capacious boot (350 litres): the car is 4.35 metres long, 1.46 metre high and 1.80 metres wide with a wheelbase of 2.63 metres. Place a bet for this to become the European Car of the Year 2011. PF