By on June 30, 2010

Alfa’s been talking about selling an SUV for years now, as the brand has thrashed around looking for a rescue line. Now, a long-rumored ute named Kamal (after an Alfa SUV concept) has finally materialized at Alfa’s 100-year anniversary, looking an awful lot like a BMW X1. In fact, it is a BMW X1 with tacked-on Alfa cues. If this is a sign that Alfa fans are desperate for an SUV, their dreams will come true. Automotive News [sub] reports that SUVs are a crucial component of Alfa’s plan to sell half a million cars per year by 2014, up from just over 100k last year. A small SUV, to be built by Chrysler and imported to Europe, will start sales in 2012, with another, larger ute (based on the next Jeep Libery) planned for 2014. In other words, look for rebadged Chryslers to rescue Alfa’s SUV dreams rather than a taped-off BMW. No wonder analysts are so skeptical of Alfa’s turnaround plans, telling AN [sub]

The potential of the (Alfa) brand is huge, but to multiply sales fivefold in five years they probably also will need to sell cars on the Moon and on Mars

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19 Comments on “What’s Wrong With This Picture: Alfa’s SUV Plans Parody Themselves Edition...”


  • avatar
    Stingray

    The problem of using (I don’t think it will be a straight rebadge) a Chrysler based product being?…. See the new 2011 Grand Cherokee.

    The 1M volume is VERY ambitious, however.

  • avatar
    twotone

    Why does every car manufacture need to be in the SUV business? Can’t BMW, Mercedes, Porsche, Audi and now Alfa stick to what they are good at — making cars? Why does every soccor mom need to drive one of these mostrosities?

    Twotone

  • avatar
    silverkris

    Because it’s incredibly profitable. Take a truck-based chassis – not cutting edge technology – dress it up with fancy upholstery and electronic goodies and sell it for a high price. That’s basically what you get with most SUVs.

    Even designs that have been around for years and were associated with commercial or trade applications, such as the Chevy Suburban and Toyota Land Cruiser, have gone upscale. Land Cruisers used to be bush vehicles, now they’re transport for third world elites.

  • avatar
    Signal11

    Between the regular extremes of Alfa gorgeous vs Alfa butterface, this one’s not bad at all.

  • avatar

    Note to Milan/Torino… stick to the sports and small cars!

  • avatar
    midelectric

    This is hard to watch, disgraceful even. It’s like going to see Guns ‘n Roses expecting to see Appetite for Destruction and getting Chinese Democracy instead – overweight, overblown and lacking the spark of genius that made the original a classic.

    Never thought I’d say this, but it would be better if Alfa Romeo lived on in memory only rather than be continually prostituted by Fiat hacks who don’t get it at all and see nothing but the confluence of a fancy logo and the average income of a target demographic.

  • avatar
    pleiter

    A horse designed by committee is a Kamal.

    • 0 avatar
      tankinbeans

      If you think about it, in that color this car does kind of look like a Camel.

    • 0 avatar
      Signal11

      I once had to buy an entire camel train. I can’t stand the animals but they’re much better in the desert than horses.

      Though horse meat does taste better. I’ve heard the same about the milk, but I’ve never had mare’s milk. Camel’s milk is disgusting.

  • avatar
    carlisimo

    So why ARE SUVs more profitable than cars in the same price range? Especially in the premium segments… I can’t imagine these vehicles are that cheap to build, and there’s plenty of competition.

  • avatar

    @ twotone:
    Q: “Why does every soccer mom needs to drive one of these monstrosities? ”
    A: “Because they are soccer moms.”
    Makes them feel safe, probably. Poor, fearful, nagging souls. Avoid them, if possible.

  • avatar
    Tommy Boy

    Gaak! It even has the ugly Bangle “eyelid” treatment above the headlights. Will there be no escape from Bangle face-emulating front end styling, “flame surfacing” and big-butt rear ends?

    And now we’re also subjected to the gun-slit side window treatment from nearly every manufacturer?

    It’s pretty bad when about the only attractive new vehicles are from Hyundai-KIA (and the new Sonata shows that they’re succumbing to the faddy crowd as well).

  • avatar
    Porsche986

    I don’t think I am wrong here, but…

    That is a prototype BMW X1 or X3 in disguise. Look at the wheels, hood, headlights, and specifically the tail lights.

    Come on… do I win a prize for this?

  • avatar
    gsnfan

    At this rate, will we see Ferrari SUVs?

  • avatar
    Garak

    At least the name is fitting: “kamala” means “awful” in Finnish.


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