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If you happen to be among the few who saw the Alfa Romeo Giulia and figured it looked all too similar to a certain performance-oriented sedan from Munich, Alfa’s design chief, Alessandro Maccolini, has this to say to you. “We did not copy a BMW. We took inspiration from our past, specifically from the 156.”

According to Automotive News Europe, Maccolini issued said comment during a speech he made to the car design community in Mantova, Italy. Such was the extent of the visual similarities that were being drawn between both cars that its chief designer had to go on record to state that inspiration for the Giulia was very much drawn from in-house sources.

To recap, the Alfa Romeo Giulia, revealed so far only in range-topping Quadrifoglio trim, is aimed at the likes of the BMW 3 Series, Mercedes-Benz C-Class and Audi A4. The BMW M3-rivalling sedan is powered by a turbocharged 3.0 litre V6 petrol engine pumping out 510 hp, paired to a six-speed manual transmission. Zero to 100 km/h is achieved in 3.9 seconds while top speed is said to be over 300 km/h.

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With that said, there is one major hiccup in the picture. Earlier on, it was reported that sales of the Alfa Romeo Giulia Quadrifoglio will commence in June 2016 – a full six months later than what was initially planned. In addition to that, the brand’s oft-reported SUV will surface only after early 2017 – a nine month-long delay. Sources quote additional work on Alfa’s end in “safety and ride characteristics” as the reason.

Whatever the reason(s) may be, let’s just keep our fingers crossed for the revival of Alfa Romeo – after all, no point defending your car’s design origins when it can’t even hit the market to compete in the first place, right?

GALLERY: Alfa Romeo Giulia Quadrifoglio in Frankfurt