This is a pretty big letdown, considering how much we were looking forward to the BMW M3-battling Giulia. But it isn’t altogether a surprise. Alfa Romeo’s long-promised return to the U.S. market always seems to get pushed back—aside from the relatively niche 4C, Alfa hasn’t had a major presence in North America for decades.?

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Furthermore, FCA CEO Sergio Marchionne had wanted a Giulia-derived SUV to go into production by mid-2016. Now, we’re hearing that the SUV won’t hit the market before early 2017—nine months behind schedule.

Unnamed sources told ?Automotive News? that the Giulia’s delay is caused by Alfa refining some safety and ride characteristics. There has been no comment on Alfa Romeo’s part on the Giulia’s or the SUV’s delay. 

Via ?The Truth About Cars