Italian automaker Alfa Romeo celebrated its 105th anniversary by taking the wraps off the Giulia, a new rear- and all-wheel drive sedan that will bow in America next year to take on the likes of the BMW 3 Series and Mercedes-Benz C-Class. Alfa released only preliminary details of the top spec rear-drive Quadrifoglio performance model, which will have a twin turbocharged V6 producing 510 horsepower, the most in its class. Equipped solely with a manual transmission, the car will be capable of 0-62 mph acceleration in 3.9 seconds.

Designed by a dedicated team of engineers patterned after the famed Lockheed Martin Skunkworks, the Giulia is the first of two sedans that will form the core of Alfa Romeo's reinvigorated lineup, which will also eventually see a full-size 4-door, a crossover SUV and a front-engine rear drive roadster positioned beneath the mid-engine 4C, according to reports.

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Formal launch in Frankfurt

The entire Giulia lineup, which will also include turbocharged 4-cylinder versions, will formally launch at the Frankfurt Auto Show in September. Alfa promises a car that will have a 50/50 front-to-rear weight distribution and such advanced features on the Quadrifoglio as torque vectoring and a moveable front aerodynamic splitter.

The Alfa Romeo Giulia features the automaker's distinctive triangular shaped grille flanked by projector beam headlamps. The powerful shape is similar in proportion to its intended target, the BMW M3, although the Alfa will boast 85 more horsepower than its German rival. The car will also be equipped with cylinder deactivation to boost fuel economy from its powerful V6 engine, which was developed in conjunction with Ferrari. The Quadrifoglio will also employ an adaptive suspension and engine management system called DNA, for Dynamic, Normal and Advanced Economy modes. There is also a Race mode for maximum performance.

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U.S. sales a year away

While production is slated to begin early next year at a plant in Cassino, Italy, the U.S. won't see cars until next summer, most likely as 2017 models. The car will go on sale before that as a 2016 model in Europe.

In addition to launching the new car, Alfa also unveiled a redesigned logo that incorporates all the elements of the traditional badge, including the flag of its hometown Milan. Alfa also reopened its revamped museum at its headquarters in suburban Arese.


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