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Alfa planning Quattroporte-based sedan

Alfa Romeo is planning a new rear-wheel-drive sedan based on the next-generation Quattroporte from sister brand Maserati, according to the latest issue of the U.K.'s Autocar. The executive four-door will -- which could be named 169 -- will be the first rear-drive Alfa in 17 years when it goes on sale in 2009.

Both V6 and V8 versions of the car are expected to be offered. The 169 could share a V8 engine with the forthcoming 8C Competizione sports car. Alfa reportedly considered using the same platform as the front-wheel-drive 159, but decoded against this option because it didn't allow designers to make the car large enough. A rear-drive platform will also undoubtedly make the 169 more appealing to U.S. customers upon Alfa's return to the market.