With Alfa Romeo finally selling its 4C within U.S. borders after countless years of delays and setbacks, it appears the Italian brand is getting its vehicle development plans into high gear. Alfa says it will launch eight fresh models by 2018, two of which will be SUVs. Though nothing is set in stone — as usual with Alfa — the first SUV will debut for 2016 and directly compete with The Audi Q5, BMW X3, and Lexus NX.
The trio will provide plenty of competition, but Alfa – under the direction of the Fiat /Chrysler team – plans to offer a turbocharged V-6 that cranks out 500 horsepower. Also joining the engine lineup will be a milder six-cylinder, a four-cylinder, and a diesel. While it’s unlikely the diesel will wash ashore here in the States, it’s expected to generate some 350 horsepower.
Alfa Romeo’s second upcoming SUV is expected to be roughly the same size as the Volvo XC90. This will act as the automaker’s flagship SUV. Both the XC90- and X3-sized Alfa SUVs are said to ride on the same platform. The architecture allows for both rear- and all-wheel-drive setups, while enjoying a sporty, 50/50 weight distribution. There’s no word on whether that 50/50 balance goes for the rear drive or AWD model, but the added AWD weight would likely skew it in either direction.
Past rumors have suggested that platform would be borrowed from the Jeep Grand Cherokee, but there’s no telling what Alfa’s got up its sleeve. We just hope Alfa doesn’t delay its SUV as it did the 4C. Like Fiat, Alfa has a huge potential market here in the U.S. with a dealer network already in place. However, Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne is quoted saying Alfa will never be built outside Italy as long as he’s in charge.
Updated 07/31/2014: British magazine AutoExpress reports that the future Alfa Romeo SUV should be unveiled in 2016 and will deliver up to 500 horsepower. Click past the jump for more details on the car.
UPDATE 10/24/2012: Today we have a new rendering for the upcoming Alfa Romeo SUV. We hope you like it!
The BMW X3 has been a strong player in the midsize crossover game since its debut in 2004. Revised in 2010 and again for 2015, the X3 has a fresh face with twin-circular headlights and front fascia, and a swanky reworked interior. It still has that iconic BMW look, but the refresh certainly did it good.
The X3 comes with three engine options: the 2.0-liter I-4, the 3.0-liter I-6, and a 3.0-liter diesel. All engines are turbocharged. The gasoline engines enjoy a 240 and 300 horsepower output, respectively. The turbo-diesel makes a respectable 280 pound feet of torque. Rear-wheel-drive comes standard on the four-cylinder while both 3.0-liters get all-wheel-drive.
Pricing for the X3 starts at $38,400 and rises to over $45,000 with all the option boxes checked.
Gallery BMW X3
Alfa’s sights are also pointed directly at the Audi Q5. The two crossovers are said to even have roughly the same dimensions inside and out, making them rather equal opponents.
Like the BMW, the Audi comes with several choices under the hood. The base engine remains the 2.0, TFSI I-4 making 220 horsepower. The supercharged, 3.0-liter V-6 is the top gasoline engine and makes 272 horsepower. Audi also brings an oil-burner to the table by way of a 3.0-liter TDI. With 428 pound-feet of torque twisting the rear wheels, the Q5 makes a decent trailer-tower and people-hauler. Like most Audis, all-wheel drive comes standard.
Pricing for the Audi Q5 starts at $38,900 and ranges to $52,400.