Some car trivia for the weekend was required as we get down to the business of Christmas cheer, and in this gallery we take a look at all the Car of the Year models from 1964 to today. This year, the humble Volkswagen Polo took out the title, marking the 47th since the award was incepted. The Car of the Year award is judged by seven European car magazine titles: Autocar in the UK, Stern in Germany, Vi Bilägare in Sweden, Autovisie in the Netherlands, L’Automobile Magazine in France, Auto in Italy, and Autopista in Spain.
The first Car of the Year back in 1964 was the Rover 2000, and things have come a long way since then. The Car of the Year must be a new vehicle that is available to at least five European markets in the year in question. Criteria such as design, comfort, performance, safety, practicality, ecology and economy, price and overall driveability are considered.
Perhaps surprisingly, the brand that has received the most awards in the history of the Car of the Year is Fiat, with a total of nine models, and that’s not including other Fiat Group brands such as Alfa Romeo or Lancia. Following Fiat, the company with the most success has been Renault, winning six times. The Volkswagen Polo for 2010 marks only the second time that Volkswagen has won the prize. After the jump is the full list of Car of the Year models from 1964 to 2010.
The new Alfa Giulietta, renamed from the Alfa Milano, is not only a replacement to the Alfa 147, but also represents another chapter in the history of Alfa Romeo and its use of this name. The Alfa Giulietta was a much loved car after the second world war, first appearing in 1955 at the Turin motor show. The name comes from the Shakespearean tragedy, Romeo and Juliet, and was an early attempt at a strong brand image for Alfa.
The first Alfa Giulietta was a sporty family sedan, four metres long and with a spacious interior. It had a four cylinder, 1.3 litre engine with 50 hp, and the four speed transmission helped it reach a top speed of 136 km/hr. In 1957 the range had a new entry with the Giulietta TI, presented at the Monza circuit. Power was increased to 65 hp with a top speed of 155 km/hr, and it was used for mountain and endurance races.
In 1959 the Alfa Giulietta had its first restyling, and 91 special units were also built for the highway patrol police. The next Giulietta with family style body kit was a successful model, with more than 100,000 units produced by 1961. The third generation appeared soon after, and the special Giulietta TI version had a power increase to 74 hp and the top speed reached 160 km/hr.
Here are official pics of the new Alfa Romeo Giulietta, with the name change from Milano confirmed, and launch date set for the 2010 Geneva motor show. It’s a sexy looking hatchback and the rear is definitely pleasing - shapely and elegant compare to the cute, cartoon-like Alfa MiTo.
If you want to read about the name change, see the press release after the jump. I must say, the Alfa Romeo marketing department has done a good job in attaching meaning to the last minute switch to Alfa Giulietta from Alfa Milano.
All the details are below, but the main details prove that the 147 replacement has been revised significantly. The Alfa Giulietta is bigger, at 4.35 metres long with a wheel base of 2.63 metres, and a sizeable boot at 350 litres. The Giulietta will have four turbo engine options available at launch with two petrol motors: 1.4 TB with 120 hp, and the 1.4 TB Multiair with 170 hp. The two diesel options available will be the 1.6 JTDM with 105 hp, and the 2.0 JTDM with 170 hp, both second generation options. At the top of the range is the 1750 TBi with 235 hp and Quadrifoglio Verde kit.
The new Alfa Giulietta will get its official world premiere at the Geneva show, ready for a spring release in Europe. It could prove an even more important model than the previous MiTo, competing with everything from the new Opel Astra to the Audi A3, depending on its pricing. Check out all the details after the jump.
Last minute controversy surrounds the Alfa Milano debut, scheduled for today, with the date being changed and a possible name change in the works. The controversy over the name arises from tension between Alfa Romeo and its Milanese workers, who have been laid off in factory closures in that city.
In what would be joyful news for Alfa Romeo fans, the Giulietta name could see a revival, although I suspect any name change at this late stage will be a costly process for Alfa. The Alfa Milano, replacement to the older Alfa 147, will still debut sometime before the 2010 Geneva Motor Show, where the car will also have its first general public appearance.
Autocar is reporting on both the Alfa Romeo Milano and the Alfa Giulia models, which are set to replace the Alfa 147 and the Alfa 159 respectively. As initially suspected, both the new Alfa models will use the C-Evo platform currently employed on the Fiat Bravo.
The C-Evo (or C-Evoluzione) platform basically improves chassis and suspension performance, with a longer wheel base (hence the larger dimension of the Alfa Milano compared to the 147) and improved suspension. The platform has been designed to be flexible enough to adapt to different car designs and makes, meaning that re-engineering is reduced to a minimum.
Entry level Giulia models will have front wheel, with Q4 all-wheel drive being an option. Further options include the new DNA system included on the MiTo, and Active Roll Control. The Alfa Giulia should also be lighter than the 159.
There are a few dedicated Alfa Romeo fans in Japan in a niche market which will now be blessed with some special species from Alfa. The “White Edition” series includes a metallic white livery that will appear on the Alfa 147, the GT 2.0 Selespeed, the Brera and the Spider 3.2 Q4 Q-Tronic.
White has become a trendy colour recently and perhaps this is a try out in Asia before including more options in the European market. In just a few years white has become fashionable again on everything from city cars to supercars and we take it for granted when we see it at motor shows and in brochures.
Thanks to Corvettec6r for the tip.