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Alfa Romeo Giulietta photos: Model of distinction

We think we've fallen in love with the Giulietta -- and no, we're not talking about some chick. We refer, misguided reader, to Alfa Romeo's all-new latest hatchback

Rory Reid
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We think we've fallen in love with Giulietta -- and no, we're not talking about some Milanese chick. We refer, misguided reader, to Alfa Romeo's all-new hatchback.

Okay, we wouldn't go as far as to say we've got full-blown autophilia for this thing, and it's not quite as gorgeous as the Alfa Giulietta from the 1950s, from which it borrowed its name, but if the government were to pass a law that allowed us to join a car in civil union, we'd definitely consider it.

The Giulietta will replace the company's iconic but ageing Alfa Romeo 147. Alfa says it's built on a new platform, whose multi-link suspension makes it more agile and comfortable than its predecessor, and that it'll inherit the 'DNA' system -- which lets the driver select between dynamic (sporty), normal (you guessed it) and all-weather (snow, mostly) driving modes -- at the touch of a switch.

This being an Alfa Romeo, it'll also get an enhanced version of the Blue&Me information and entertainment system, which was designed by Microsoft. Like the Alfa Romeo Mito, it has a Windows start button on the steering wheel that, when pressed, lets you give the car audible commands to change the music selection, read out your text messages and more.

Alfa plans to have five engine options at launch, all of which will be fitted with a stop-start system to reduce emissions. There are two petrol engines, two diesels and a scary-sounding Quadrifoglio Verde edition with a 235bhp engine.

We'll need to wait and see whether the Giulietta has what it takes to usurp the Golf -- a car regarded as the current benchmark in this segment -- but on looks alone, we reckon it could be a real winner. It'll arrive this summer for a starting price in the region of £15,000. More pics, as ever, are over the page.

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It's a looker, isn't it? It's just a shame that girl's crept into shot.
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We'd asked them to move out of the way, but they wouldn't take no for an answer. Anyway, here's the front of the car.

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