Alfa Romeo has its sights set on launching nine new cars by 2021.
Next week, the Italian automaker will introduce the Stelvio SUV at the 2016 L.A. Auto Show, marking the start of a revival plan that will include a BMW 5 Series competitor, a flagship SUV and a new sports car. Speaking to Autocar, new Alfa Romeo boss Reid Bigland shared details on what Alfa Romeo has planned for the future as it looks to strengthen the brand’s presence worldwide while taking advantage of the booming crossover and SUV markets. Bigland previously served as the head of North America for Alfa Romeo as well as president of the Dodge and Ram brands.
The product onslaught will start with the Stelvio SUV, competing with the BMW X3 and Audi Q5. Although the name won’t be confirmed until the model debuts in L.A. next week, Bigland did express that it will stand out against its competitors. “The reason people will buy our mid-sized SUV is because they will get blown away by the driving dynamics,” he said. Expect the Stelvio, or whatever it ends up being called, to actually be marketed against the Jaguar F-Pace and Porsche Macan, as a sporty crossover packing plenty of performance, especially if a model comes equipped with the Giulia Quadrifoglio’s 2.9-liter twin-turbo V6 engine.
A larger SUV is likely in development, although it won’t be a seven-seater considering Alfa Romeo’s desire to keep things sporty. The model is rumored to ride on the same platform as the Maserati Levante and could be introduced as early as 2018 as a competitor to the BMW X5 and Audi Q7. Following that, another SUV is under consideration, a model that would be a coupe version of the Stelvio to take on the BMW X4. Rumors suggest however, that if the Giulietta hatchback is replaced, expect a BMW X1 rival to result.
Once Alfa Romeo’s first SUV model heads to market, the company will turn its attention to a wagon version of the Giulia that is set to bow at the 2017 Geneva Motor Show.
As for a competitor to the BMW 5 Series, Alfa Romeo is hesitant with Bigland saying, “The segment size and profitability are not what they were.” Those looking for a sports car will have to wait until at least 2020, but it is believed that a development team is working on a modern interpretation of the Alfa Brera, which stopped production in 2010 after criticized for being underpowered and overweight.
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