BALOCCO, Italy – Fiat S.p.A.'s new Compact vehicle architecture is scheduled to underpin 700,000 Chrysler group vehicles a year in the U.S. and 300,000 in Europe by 2014.
The architecture will debut in Europe on the new Alfa Romeo Giulietta sporty hatchback, which will premier at the Geneva auto show next month.
Fiat and Chrysler are currently developing a widened version of the architecture, called Compact Wide, which will underpin at least seven new models for the Chrysler, Dodge and Jeep brands.
The first Chrysler group cars to use the Compact Wide architecture will be two compact sedans that will replace the Chrysler PT Cruiser and the Dodge Caliber in 2012.
Fiat and Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne plans for the combined Compact/Compact Wide architecture volume to exceed 1 million units built per year within four years.
The Compact architecture's modular design means that it can underpin vehicles of wheelbases of different sizes and thus different lengths.
Fiat said it benchmarked Alfa Giulietta rivals such as the Audi A3 and BMW 1-series models for the new architecture.
"In developing the Compact architecture, we looked for best-in-class performances in terms of handling and steering response, weight-to-power ratio; noise, vibration and harshness, active and passive safety," Stefano Re Fiorentin, Fiat's head of advanced engineering, said at the Fiat's testing grounds in Balocco, 40km west of Milan.