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February launch for Alfa 147

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Alfa Romeo's new sporting hatchback - already crowned Car of the Year - goes on sale in the UK on February 1, in three versions and priced from £12,985.

UK customers will be able to chose from the 1.6 Twin Spark Turismo (£12,985 OTR), 1.6 Twin Spark Lusso (£14,090) and 2.0 Selespeed Lusso (£17,340) and three interior specifictions.

Alfa says the car will compete in the 'elite' C-segment, comprising of the Audi A3, Volkswagen Golf and later this year the revised BMW 3 Series Compact and new Mercedes C-class hatchback.

This sub-segment is forecast to account for around 160,000 units this year. Alfa Romeo (GB) plans to capture about 3% of this segment in 2001, making the 147 the marque's second biggest seller after the 156.

An Alfa spokesman said: "The prime task for us is to gain conquest sales from established C-segment elite brands and a substantial proportion from owners of mainstream models, like the Peugeot 306, trading up.

"Similarly, trends show that many executives are using their firm's cash alternative offer and are trading down from mid-size family saloons."

Standard features on the 147 include tinted windows, remote central locking, aluminium exterior door handles, volumetric anti-theft system, heated electric and colour-coded door mirrors, electric front windows, Alfa code immobiliser, pollen filter, leather steering wheel and gear knob, trip computer, ABS, driver and passenger airbags and side airbags, power steering and foglights.

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