Alfa Romeo’s upcoming SUV, codenamed ‘Project 949’, will go into production by the around mid-2016, Sergio Marchionne, CEO of Alfa parent company Fiat Chrysler, has confirmed. Mr. Marchionne told analysts in a conference call last week that “all the preparation work” in connection to the SUV has been completed and that “Alfa’s plan is progressing as we told you it will go”.
Mr. Marchionne did not tell the details about the vehicle, but according to sources close to Automotive News Europe, it will be a mid-size SUV that will compete with the Audi Q5 and the BMW X3. This will be the company’s first-ever SUV and the second new model after the Giulia midsize sedan, which was showcased to selected journalists in June ahead of its global debut at the 2015 Frankfurt Auto Show in September.
The sales of the SUV are expected to commence in Europe from September or October 2016. U.S. launch will likely happen three months later. It will be based on Alfa’s new RWD Giorgio platform, that also underpins the Giulia.
Alfa has already spent almost €2 billion of the €5 billion allocated by Fiat Chrysler for its revival. The Italian carmaker aims to have around eight cars in its portfolio to help attain around 400,000 sales annually by 2018- a daunting target considering the company sold less than 70,000 units in 2014.
While the Guilia will compete with the BMW 3 Series, Alfa also has plans to launch a flagship sedan to compete with BMW 5 Series and the Audi A6. Meanwhile, a larger SUV and two compact models to replace the Giulietta are also in the pipeline. Currently, Alfa sells the Giulietta and the MiTo mostly in the European market and two versions of the 4C sports car globally.
[News Source: Automotive News Europe]
[Image Source: Auto-Moto]