Alfa Romeo 149 Spied
The test version on the 149 shown here is running Fiat Bravo bodywork - and badges - but there is apparently something worth disguising at the front of the car and the distinctive outline of an Alfa grille is plain to see. The 149 is apparently going to run on Bravo underpinnings the deception is a straightforward one but rumour has it Alfa is developing it's own front and rear suspension systems for the car. As such you'd expect this to include the firm's Q4 four-wheel drive system, raising the possibility of a hot GTA or similar.
If Alfa Romeo can do this and wrap it in suitably sexy bodywork it could be onto a winner by offering a distinctly glamorous and Latin alternative to the German brands' lockdown of the premium hatch market. It certainly has the engine to do so, with its 260bhp 3.2-litre V6. But Alfa has also been a keen exponent of hot diesels, choosing to offer its Q2 limited-slip differential system exclusively on the 1.9 JTDM versions of the 147 and GT. Whatever powers the 149 when it arrives in 2009 it seems Alfa has aspirations of exploiting its sporting heritage to bring some welcome spice to the upper reaches of the C-segment.