Alfa Romeo closes in on Cayenne-rivalling SUV as fifth model


Alfa Romeo boss Jean-Philippe Imparato says the car maker will make a final decision on what form its fifth model line will take before the end of this year – with a Porsche Cayenne-rivalling large SUV still the front-runner.

The Italian firm recently added the new Junior crossover as its fourth model alongside the Giulia saloon and Tonale and Stelvio SUVs, and it is planning to add a fifth model line in 2027.

Alfa has long been linked with an E-segment electric SUV, but Imparato said it is dependent on proving a business case – and he revealed that the alternative could be a C-segment hatchback.

Imparato told Autocar a final decision would be made before the end of 2024 and said: “The question is do we go up [in size]? And for me the answer is yes: we have to go up. We have everything – the platform, the engines, the software. We can push the limit to the max and I have some design sketches that are very good.”

Any large SUV would sit on parent firm Stellantis’s STLA Large platform, which allows for ultra-fast charging and can accept a range of high-powered motors and large batteries.

Imparato said approval for the large SUV would be dependent on a number of factors, including the progress of electrification in North America, the potential of the Asian market – given the growth of Chinese manufacturers in particular – and the profile of the large SUV market in Europe.

He added: “If I’m premium and I’m not in the E-segment, then what do I do? The alternative is to go back to a C-hatch, because we have everything – the compact, saloon, C-SUV, D-SUV. So the question is: up or down?

“If the E-segment in Europe is maintained at the right level of volumes and profit pool, we can do [a large SUV] and it will be cool. Really cool. The car for 2027 is done. It’s striking.”

In addition to the five regular model lines, Alfa will continue to offer limited run specials such as the 33 Stradale supercar.

Beyond that, when each of the regular models nears the end of its life cycle, Imparato said: “We will either renew or change the concept, depending on the evolution of the market or the global evolution of Stellantis.” Imparato said he would “love to bring back a GTV or an Alfetta”, but “it will depend on the trends that we see in the future”.

That said, he did hint that any future C-segment hatchback using the STLA Medium platform could open the door for a Duetto spider.

But he cautioned: “For 2028 or 2029, we will have to decide if we will renew some segments, so we have to ask what will be the future of SUVs in terms of business potential. So many of our Alfisti say: ‘Why are you going SUV?’ Because you only buy SUVs, my friend, and I’m not a provider of work/life balance. I’m a provider of cars.”



Source link

About The Author