The Fiat name is alive and well in the United States thanks to the revival of the Chrysler Group as well as the Fiat 500, and now the Fiat's Alfa Romeo brand is readying a healthy comeback of its own in the U.S. While it was already known that Alfa Romeo will mark return to the U.S. for the first time since 1995 by introducing the Alfa Romeo 4C sports coupe, now Automotive News that the Italian automaker is one step closer to making the car a reality over here by registering the car's name with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. Earlier this month, Fiat CEO Sergio Marchionne said announced that the Alfa Romeo 4C will be on sale in North America by 2013.
Automotive News goes on to say that eventually, the Fiat will grow and expand the Alfa Romeo brand to become a luxury automaker to rival BMW. The 4C would likely compete somewhere between cars like the BMW 6 Series and Porsche 911, and future Alfas would help bolster the brand name even further. Fiat hopes to increase Alfa Romeo sales by more than double by 2014 with a six new models, but it isn't clear which ones would come here, if at all, branded as an Alfa. While the high performance and/or luxury models would carry the Alfa name in the U.S., the brand's entry-level cars will be rebranded as Chrysler products of some sort starting with the 2013 Dodge Dart this year which shares its platform with Alfa's Giulietta hatchback.
The new 4C will go into production next May in Modena, Italy, and it will be limited to 2,500 units per year. Shown in concept form at the 2011 Geneva Motor Show, the 4C is a sports coupe that far outshines the Alfa Romeo Spider, one of the last Alfas sold in the U.S. Like many modern sports cars, the 4C Concept exhibited a downsized powertrain using a turbocharged and direct-injected 1.8-liter inline-four which will produce over 200 horsepower but should still be good on fuel economy.
In addition to the Alfa Romeo brand, the Fiat brand will also continue to grow in the U.S., and the next model for this automaker over here might be the Fiat 500L. With a similar size as the MINI Countryman, the 500L has the 500's recognizable and cute looks, but it adds a bigger interior to accommodate more people. Outside the U.S., Fiat is also planning a rapid expansion of the Jeep brand with increased global sales to go with four all-new SUVs. New B-, C- and D-Segment SUVs are being planned for Jeep in 2014, and this calendar year will also see the return of the Jeep Grand Wagoneer nameplate - expected to be a three-row version of the Grand Cherokee. The smaller new SUVs will likely be new models brought over from the Fiat or Alfa Romeo brands such as the Fiat Panda (shown here), and like the Dart, they should all feature extensively different exterior styling. Down the road, this vehicle and platform sharing could bring many new vehicles to the Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep and even Ram brands.