Alfa Romeo SUV: Meet The New Chrysler Aspen

Edward Niedermeyer
by Edward Niedermeyer

Chrysler’s product and business plan is leaking like a neglected radiator, leading up to next week’s announcement. The latest tidbit: an Alfa-badged version of the new Jeep Grand Cherokee. Alfa Romeo has been hunting after an SUV platform for some time, because as Luca DiMeo put it back in ’08,

We need an S.U.V. for America. Not everyone in the company agrees, but this would be the only practical Alfa Romeo and we will be able to design the sportiest, sexiest and most exciting S.U.V. in the world.

It’s important to note though, that this quote predates the revelation that the Alfa SUV would be a Grand Cherokee reskin, effectively replacing the unlovable Chrysler Aspen as ChryCo’s luxury ute.

According to the New York Times:

The new Alfa Romeo would be manufactured in the United States and be based on the platform of the Jeep Grand Cherokee, one of Chrysler’s most successful models. A Jeep-like Alfa Romeo would follow in the tracks of such hot-selling upscale sports utility vehicles as the BMW X3 and deliver much fatter profit margins than traditional small cars. It could also help reintroduce the Alfa Romeo brand to younger drivers after a 14-year absence from the United States.

But did Fiat really take over Chrysler so it could rebadge an SUV? Fiat flacks explain:

Fiat is bringing environmentally smart technology to the U.S., which Chrysler lacks, not just small-car technology. The future isn’t about S.U.V.’s; it will just be a niche. We have to think about the whole range.

Well, if we’re thinking about the whole range, expanding Alfa into SUVs seems like a good way to render the Dodge brand wholly irrelevant. After all, a Durango-badged Grand Cherokee is planned as well, unless that’s going to fit into the new, confusing “Ram” brand. Speculating about Fiat-Alfa-Dodge-Ram-Mopar-Chrysler’s product plans is making my head hurt. Maybe we should just wait for an official announcement.

Edward Niedermeyer
Edward Niedermeyer

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2 of 16 comments
  • Holydonut Holydonut on Oct 29, 2009

    @t8528sl: but you have to admit that red interior was pretty cool.

  • Conslaw Conslaw on Oct 29, 2009

    If, I mean when, this car makes it to the most sincere pumpkin patch, I mean Chrysler dealer, near you, will we be able to tell the difference between the Aspen and the 3rd Generation Nissan Murano, the Second Generation Ford Edge and Second Generation Mazda7? I can think of a couple differences, the Mazda will have a proven and efficient CVT transmission. The Ford and Mazda will have a proven 6-speed transmission with the possibility of an efficient Ecoboost engine. The Nissan and the Ford/Mazda both should have an up to 20% fuel economy advantage over the Chrysler, with similar performance.

  • RobbyG $100k+...for a Jeep. Are they selling these in fantasy land?Twin turbo inline 6 paired to an 8-speed transmission. Yet still only gets 14mpg.Whatever money you think you would save over a V-8 will be spent 2-3x amount fixing these things when they blow up.
  • Alan Well the manufacturers are catching up with stocks. This means shortages of parts is reducing. Stocks are building around the world even Australia and last year had the most vehicles ever sold here.
  • Larry You neglected to mention that the 2024 Atlas has a US Government 5-Star Safety Rating.
  • Alan Why is it that Toyota and Nissan beat their large SUVs (Patrol/300 Series) with an ugly stick and say they are upmarket? Whilst they are beating the vehicles with an ugly stick they reduce the off road ability rather than improve it.As I've stated in previous comments you are far better off waiting for the Patrol to arrive than buy an overpriced vehicle.
  • Alan How many people do you see with a 4x4 running mud tyres? How many people do you see with a 4x4 running massive rims and low profile tyres? How many people have oversize mirrors for towing once in a blue moon? How many 4x4s do you see lifted? How many people care what tyres they run to save fuel? The most comfortable tyres are more or less the most economical.