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.