Alfa Romeo are known more for their sporty cars than off-roading machines but all of that is about to change as the Italian brand have an SUV in the pipeline. Alfa Romeo, who is owned by Fiat, has been struggling to get a strong foothold in European markets and will be re-entering the North American market in 2013. Success in the US is life or death for the Italian automaker who have not released a new car in the US for 16 years.
The brand hope the new direction and future new model launches will revitalise the brand which has discontinued niche models such as the GT, Brera and Spider and help them establish themselves as a volume manufacturer. The so called C-SUV will face stiff competition from the BMW X3 and Audi Q5, which have a long standing in the SUV market.
Alfa have been relying on the new Alfa Romeo Mito in Bristol and the brand new Giulietta to generate sales, whilst the current 159 range will be replaced by the new Giulia range in 2013. A new five-door Mito and the 4C sports car are also planned for release in 2013, with a large SUV based on the Jeep Grand Cherokee expected in 2014. Last year Fiat merged with Chrysler, who own Jeep.
The new C-SUV will go into production in 2012 and will share the same platform as a new Jeep- a replacement for the Compass and Patriot. Fiat’s Compact Plus Global Modular Architecture will form the underpinnings of the car and Fiat hope it will make the C-SUV the most dynamic in its class. The new SUV will take design inspiration from the brands most popular models- the Mito and Giulietta. The new SUV will be offered in front and all-wheel drive models and will make use of Fiat’s Multiair 2 technology.
Fiat has ambitious plans for Alfa and expects to sell 500,000 units per year, significantly more than the 112,000 units sold in 2010. Equally as bold, baring in mind they have not got a strong standing in the US, they plan to sell 50,000 C-SUVs in North America between 2013 and 2014. Prices for the new SUV are yet to be released.