European manufacturers set to expand ranges at Geneva

Alfa Romeo and Renault are set to launch new vehicle classes at the Geneva Motor Show, which kicks off next week.

The all-new compact architecture represents Alfa Romeo's attempt to crack the American market with the resurrection of the Alfa Romeo Giulietta. Taking the name of a sports model launched in the 1950s, the new Giulietta is safer, quieter, lighter and better in handling, according to the firm.

The five-door hatchback will be available in five start/stop turbo engine configurations and will use a body designed to underpin future Fiat Group segment C vehicles. Alfa Romeo says it has reduced the weight by up to 35 percent for some parts of the vehicle. The front and rear suspension systems have also both been optimized, providing further weight savings while achieving a quieter ride with less vibration.

Alfa Romeo claims that the Giulietta will obtain the maximum Euro NCAP car safety rating thanks to its new body structure and the addition of six airbags. The car will go on sale progressively in all the major markets though pricing is yet to be confirmed.

Renault also confirmed earlier this month that it is to launch a brand new coupé, named Wind, at Geneva. The Wind is described in press previews as a two-seater roadster that "makes passion affordable for everyone."

The Geneva Motor Show is open to the public March 4 - 14.

Website: http://www.salon-auto.ch/en/

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