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First pictures of new Alfa 149
27.10.2008, Hakulinen Yrjö

Feast your eyes on Alfa's brand new hatch! This is how the sensational 149 - a direct rival to Ford's Focus - is shaping up.

Based on the same platform as the Fiat Bravo and Lancia Delta, the replacement for the 147 will blend the raw beauty of the 8C Competizione with the style of the MiTo in a larger, family-sized package. The front end's generous curves and circular headlamps take their inspiration from the MiTo, while the sharp, arrow-like nose and deep Alfa shield grille are borrowed from the 8C Competizione.

At the back the 149 is clearly its own car, however. Although the MiTo has a delicate, squat rear, the 149 features a much sportier stance. A steeply raked tail similar to Audi's A3, plus the addition of a small spoiler, twin exhausts and circular LED tail-lamps, give the hatch a persona all of its own.

The new Alfa will have the performance to match its good looks, too. Power is expected to come from 1.4-litre petrol turbo and 1.9 diesel units ranging from 120bhp to 250bhp. Hot versions will get the Q2 diff to maximise traction.

Available in both three and five-door bodystyles, the new Alfa is due to go on sale in the middle of next year, with prices starting at around £16,500.

Auto Express News 20.10.2008