Fiat Chrysler Group’s global head of design, Lorenzo Ramaciotti, has described the upcoming Alfa Romeo Giulia as the most difficult car he has ever had to design.

Speaking about the mid-sized Alfa Romeo Giulia in an interview with Autocar, Ramaciotti said, “Alfa Romeo is the hardest design challenge we face. There is a lot of expectation, so what we do has to be remarkable but stand the test of time.”

The Giulia, which will replace the Giugiaro-designed 159, has been a consistent subject of internal styling criticism.  In 2011, Fiat Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne reportedly rejected a final design proposal for the BMW 3 Series rival because it wasn't exciting enough.

As well as concern about its final design, the Giulia has been beset by uncertainty about its underpinnings. Initially, it was assumed the Giulia would continue the front- and all-wheel-drive trend set by its 159 and 156 predecessors, and in line with Alfa's current two-car line-up, which consists of the MiTo and Giulietta hatchbacks. However, reports earlier this year suggested Alfa would instead follow the recently released 4C, and return to a rear-wheel-drive-based range from 2015, delaying the Giulia until some time after the switch.

Autocar also says the Giulia is now being redesigned as a ‘world car’, departing from its previous Euro-centric focus. This doesn't necessarily mean the Giulia will make it to Australia, however. Late last month, Fiat Chrysler Australia said a mid-sized sedan such as the Giulia had no place in its future plans.