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Alfa Romeo Quashes Rumors Of Crash Worthiness Issues With Upcoming Giulia

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On: Wed, Feb 10, 2016 at 9:24PM | By: Carl Malek

Alfa Romeo Quashes Rumors Of Crash Worthiness Issues With Upcoming Giulia

Despite rumors of potential trouble with the crash worthiness of its upcoming Alfa Romeo Giulia sport sedan, parent company FCA has aggressively lashed out against those reports and denied that there are problems with safety, while reaffirming the timetable for this key model.

The report first emerged after Automotive News Europe cited several sources within a supplier who alleged that the upcoming sedan failed to pass three of FCA's internal crash tests, which include tests for front, side, and rear impacts. The sources claimed that these unexpected roadblocks forced FCA engineers to 'extensively' reengineer the car which supposedly put the project six months behind schedule. Curiously the allegations lacked context, especially since FCA (like many other automakers) presumably uses internal computer simulations that validate the road worthiness of a design before the first physical prototype is even constructed.

That said the sources in the ANE report may have been referring to computer simulations versus physical crash verification test results, but that too raises a potential red flag since problems of this nature would have surfaced much earlier in the development process which would have given the engineers more time to correct the problem or make revisions before the car made the leap from computer simulation to physical reality. An Alfa Romeo spokesman issued a denial in a separate interview with Road & Track, stating that the allegations raised by the supplier are "not accurate or representative at all." The company also said that the Giulia project is still on track with the U.S. variant expected to arrive in showrooms during the second quarter of this year, which is not that far off from a prior promise made at the Los Angeles Auto Show that called for the model to arrive in six months.

This promise also comes after a recent decision by FCA to scale back on manufacturing, research-and-development, and product investments for the Alfa Romeo brand through 2018, while products slated to debut at that time have been pushed back to 2020. This latter item does have me concerned since Alfa Romeo will need a strong push across multiple product segments if it hopes to succeed in making an impact in the U.S. market, especially in market segments that have traditionally been in the iron grip of German rivals such as BMW and Audi.


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