It was BMW that was doing the copying when in the early sixties they looked to Alfa Romeo's sport sedans for inspiration. Alfa Romeo's pre-war racing pedigree was second to none, and series production Alfas were sporting twin cam engines, and fuel injection years before BMW. What the post-war Alfa cars did not offer was reliability and an North American dealer network that knew how to service or sell their products. Consequently in 1995 Alfa abandoned the US market.
Now it is the Alfa Giulia taking aim at the BMW 3-series. The Fiat/Chrysler group has a lot of resources (think Ferrari), and the engineering chops to beat BMW at its own game, but it will take a long time to build a reliable dealer network, not to mention the quality issues that have dogged them for decades.
Alfa will follow what has become a familiar recipe to challenge the 3-series. With 3 sets of trim available, the most affordable model, the Giulia, and further upscale, Giulia ti, both with a turbocharged 4-banger and 276 HP compares favorably with the BMW 328i and the Audi A4. The 505 HP Giulia flagship is shooting for the M4/3. Good luck with that, Alfa. A delayed introduction hints of troubles to come.
If Alfa is going to revive a long dormant marque, it is going to have to step up and take advantage of what perhaps BMW is losing sight of; outstanding suspension tuning, communicative steering, reliability, and a dealer network that believes in the product. And, oh yeah, a Ferrari massaged engine.
It'll be interesting when Alfa steps up their game and takes on the BMW