Hybrids and electric forced induction on the cards too
As part of Fiat Chrysler’s presentation to investors overnight in Italy, the company has revealed its latest plans for Alfa Romeo, which it still hopes to fashion into a serious long-term competitor to BMW, Mercedes-Benz and Audi.
Given sedan sales are shrinking, it’s perhaps no surprise to learn plans for a BMW 5 Series competitor based on the Giulia platform have been shelved.
Instead, the company will be attacking the part of the market that’s still red hot: crossovers. Indeed, it plans on introducing a crossover to slot in underneath the Stelvio, and one to attack the class above it.
Like Jaguar, Alfa Romeo’s brand image is defined primarily by its sports cars. As such, it will replace the small volume 4C with two new halo cars.
Above: Alfa Romeo 8C. Top: Alfa Romeo GTV.
For its flagship model Alfa will revive the 8C name, but it will be quite a different proposition to the former front-engine rear-wheel drive model.
Instead, the new car will have a carbon-fibre monocoque chassis, and be powered twin-turbo engine mounted behind the passenger cell with an electric motor driving the front axle.
Together they will generate a total of over 520kW (700hp), enough to catapult the new coupe from 0-100km/h in under three seconds.
At the higher volume end of the spectrum is a revival of the GTV, which looks to be a four-seat coupe version of the Giulia.
The top-spec GTV will be available with engine boosted by an electrically driven forced induction system, and said to have 450kW (600hp) on tap. All that fury will be channelled to all four wheels via a torque-vectoring setup.
With Alfa Romeo hoping to crack the Chinese market, it’s probably not surprising to learn it plans to launch long wheelbase versions of the Giulia sedan and Stelvio crossover. With luxury car buyers in China preferring to be chauffeured, most of Alfa’s competitors already offer stretched versions of their sedan models.
Above: Farewell Mito!
As has long been rumoured, the Mito will eventually fade away, but this latest plan calls for a refresh of the Giulietta, as well as the Giulia and Stelvio.
Diesel power will be phased out from the Alfa range, and replaced by hybrids and a new plug-in hybrid drivetrain capable of driving up to 50km on electric power alone, and completing the 0-100km/h dash in around 4.5 seconds. In time, each nameplate will be offered with at least one electrified drivetrain option.
All up, when this range is in place by 2022, the brand hopes to be selling 400,000 cars annually across the globe.
It will be interesting to see how close the company gets to its stated targets, especially given the brand’s recent history of overpromising and under-delivering.
Initial plans for the marque’s revival called for a range of eight new models and annual sales of 400,000 by 2018. So far only two vehicles (Giulia and Stelvio) have materialised, and sales totalled around 118,000 in 2017.
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