Alfa Romeo Readying an SUV for the Nuclear Family: Report

Steph Willems
by Steph Willems
alfa romeo readying an suv for the nuclear family report

We’re talking one of those 1950s Leave It To Beaver-type families, not those downsized 1980s-onward broods. Yes, the range-topping utility vehicle under development by Fiat Chrysler’s sporty Alfa Romeo division will likely boast three rows and seven seats, according to UK publication Autocar.

It’s far removed from the diminutive Alfas of yesteryear, such as the 2000 GT Veloce driven by the titular character in Shaft In Africa, but it’s necessary to seduce the space-hungry American market. It’s also just one of several new products expected to be announced by FCA boss Sergio Marchionne next month.

According to Autocar, the big announcement will come at FCA’s Balocco, Italy test track ( formerly the Alfa Romeo proving grounds).

There, Marchionne will announce a new, larger SUV based on the Stelvio platform and weighing roughly 450 pounds more than its smaller stablemate, the publication reports. Key to getting the heavier vehicle up to speed is a 48-volt electrical system aiding a mild hybrid drivetrain and electric turbocharger. The on-sale date should arrive in late 2019.

Joining the new SUV in the Alfa lineup is a model we’ve already told you about, but which isn’t yet confirmed. A Giulia coupe takes the longed-for (but problem plagued) sedan and lop offs two doors, with more than one performance hybrid powertrain on offer. A five-door sportback remains a possibility. At Alfa, hybridized engines aren’t looking to save the planet — they’re only there to add extra grunt when the driver nails the throttle, saving Alfa the expense of developing costly new engines.

It’s believed the new powertrains adopt a Formula One-style energy recovery system derived from the LaFerrari. Displacement of the existing 2.0- and 2.9-liter Giulia engines would remain the same. Power gains, at least under heavy loads, would skyrocket, from 276 brake horsepower in the stock turbo four to 345 in the mild hybrid version. The twin-turbo V6 could make as much as 641 combined bhp.

Making the greatest use of the Giulia and Stelvio’s Giorgio platform is key to FCA’s global ambitions for the resurgent Alfa brand. The slow roll-out of new models didn’t deliver the early sales figures once predicted by Marchionne, and China proved a thorn in FCA’s side. Still, the brand grew 62 percent, globally, in 2017. Thanks to greater availability of the Giulia and the recent appearance of the Stelvio, the brand’s U.S. volume grew 328 percent in the U.S. over the first four months of 2018. (That’s 7,639 vehicles, for those of you counting — over 2,000 more than the downward-pointing Fiat brand sold in the same time frame.)

[Image: Alfa Romeo]

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  • Dukeisduke Dukeisduke on May 14, 2018

    +1000 for the Shaft in Africa mention. The movie starts with Shaft coming back to his Alfa after a morning run, to find some guy stealing the hubcaps off of it.

  • AlfaRomasochist AlfaRomasochist on May 14, 2018

    As a certified Alfa nut with 4 kids this is right in my wheelhouse. If it ends up being at least as good to drive as our old CX-9 but with Giulia / Stelvio styling this will be hard to resist.

  • Max So GM will be making TESLAS in the future. YEA They really shouldn’t be taking cues from Elon musk. Tesla is just about to be over.
  • Malcolm It's not that commenters attack Tesla, musk has brought it on the company. The delivery of the first semi was half loaded in 70 degree weather hauling potato chips for frito lay. No company underutilizes their loads like this. Musk shouted at the world "look at us". Freightliners e-cascads has been delivering loads for 6-8 months before Tesla delivered one semi. What commenters are asking "What's the actual usable range when in say Leadville when its blowing snow and -20F outside with a full trailer?
  • Funky D I despise Google for a whole host of reasons. So why on earth would I willing spend a large amount of $ on a car that will force Google spyware on me.The only connectivity to the world I will put up with is through my phone, which at least gives me the option of turning it off or disconnecting it from the car should I choose to.No CarPlay, no sale.
  • William I think it's important to understand the factors that made GM as big as it once was and would like to be today. Let's roll back to 1965, or even before that. GM was the biggest of the Big Three. It's main competition was Ford and Chrysler, as well as it's own 5 brands competing with themselves. The import competition was all but non existent. Volkswagen was the most popular imported cars at the time. So GM had its successful 5 brands, and very little competition compared to today's market. GM was big, huge in fact. It was diversified into many other lines of business, from trains to information data processing (EDS). Again GM was huge. But being huge didn't make it better. There are many examples of GM not building the best cars they could, it's no surprise that they were building cars to maximize their profits, not to be the best built cars on the road, the closest brand to achieve that status was Cadillac. Anyone who owned a Cadillac knew it could have been a much higher level of quality than it was. It had a higher level of engineering and design features compared to it's competition. But as my Godfather used to say "how good is good?" Being as good as your competitors, isn't being as good as you could be. So, today GM does not hold 50% of the automotive market as it once did, and because of a multitude of reasons it never will again. No matter how much it improves it's quality, market value and dealer network, based on competition alone it can't have a 50% market share again. It has only 3 of its original 5 brands, and there are too many strong competitors taking pieces of the market share. So that says it's playing in a different game, therfore there's a whole new normal to use as a baseline than before. GM has to continue downsizing to fit into today's market. It can still be big, but in a different game and scale. The new normal will never be the same scale it once was as compared to the now "worlds" automotive industry. Just like how the US railroad industry had to reinvent its self to meet the changing transportation industry, and IBM has had to reinvent its self to play in the ever changing Information Technology industry it finds it's self in. IBM was once the industry leader, now it has to scale it's self down to remain in the industry it created. GM is in the same place that the railroads, IBM and other big companies like AT&T and Standard Oil have found themselves in. It seems like being the industry leader is always followed by having to reinvent it's self to just remain viable. It's part of the business cycle. GM, it's time you accept your fate, not dead, but not huge either.
  • Tassos The Euro spec Taurus is the US spec Ford FUSION.Very few buyers care to see it here. FOrd has stopped making the Fusion long agoWake us when you have some interesting news to report.