The Alfa Romeo 75 was introduced in May of 1985 to replace the Alfa Romeo Alfetta and Alfa Romeo Giulietta (both with which it shared many components), and was named to celebrate Alfa's 75th year of production. The body, designed by Ermanno Cressoni, was styled in a striking wedge shape, tapering at the front with square headlights and a matching grille (similar features were applied to the Cressoni-designed Alfa Romeo 33). The Alfa Romeo 75 featured some unusual technical features, most notably the fact that it was almost perfectly balanced from front to rear. This was achieved by mounting the standard 5-speed gearbox in the rear connected to the rear differential (RWD).
The front suspension was a torsion bar and shock absorber combination and the rear an expensive de-dion assembly with shock absorbers; these designs were intended to optimize the car's handling. The engine crankshaft was bolted directly to the two-segment driveshaft which ran the length of the underside from the engine block to the gearbox, and rotated at the speed of the engine. The shaft segments were joined with elastomeric 'doughnuts' to prevent vibration and engine/gearbox damage. The Alfa Romeo 75 engine range at launch featured 4-cylinder 1.6, 1.8 and 2.0 liter petrol carbureted engines, a 2.0 liter intercooled turbo diesel, and a 2.5 liter fuel injected V6. In 1987, a 3.0 liter V6 was added. However, in North America, where the car was known as the Milano, only the 2.5 and 3.0 V6s were available, from 1987 to 1989.
The interior featured what for its time was an advanced dashboard-mounted diagnostic computer, capable of monitoring the engine systems and alerting the drivers of potential faults.
On the Geneva Auto Show 1986 a prototype Alfa Romeo 75 Sports Wagon was to be seen, an attractive forerunner of the later Alfa Romeo 156 Sportswagon. This version was, however, nixed after Fiat took control of Alfa Romeo.
Launch, May 1985