The SUV Invasion Continues: Alfa Romeo Plots a new Flagship SUV with Electrified Drivetrain
It’s the first of three models that will continue the company’s rebirthingby Robert Moore, on
Alfa Romeo has slowly rebirthed itself into the automaker it once was, or maybe even a better automaker than it once was. And now, joining the 4C, Giulia, and Stelvio will be another SUV – one that will sit at the top of the lineup and serve as the ultimate people hauler. On top of this news, is news that it will also be the first of three new models planned and the first Alfa to feature an electrified drivetrain.
Of course, that electrified drivetrain isn’t exactly a coincidence or a choice of pleasure for the brand. On the contrary, it’s actually a requirement. See, this new SUV will be the largest ever created by Alfa, and with emissions regulations running rampant, a mild hybrid will be a necessity if it will maintain Alfa Romeo’s typical, performance-oriented DNA and still hit emissions regulation targets. According to AutoExpress it could even deliver some 400 horsepower.
Roberto Fedeli, the Chief Technical Officer for Alfa Romeo, said, "The Stelvio for sure is an example of Alfa DNA, why don’t we translate that in a car which is a little bit bigger? We have to marry the new car with the right level of electrification. A plug-in hybrid could be a problem for the Alfa DNA point of view, but for instance, a 48-volt mild hybrid solution is something that we can do without losing anything."
Of course, there’s more to this story, so keep reading to find out what’s coming next…
New Alfa Romeo SUV – Derived from Trends and Profitability
The automotive business is about making money, and SUVs are hot as fire at the moment.
I sure did mention that there would be a trio of models, but have you found yourself asking why Alfa Romeo is going for a new SUV first? After all, it’s got the new Stelvio, right? And, the 4C certainly is outdated as hell, so one would think the little sports car would be the next on the docket. Unfortunately, the automotive business is about making money, and SUVs are hot as fire at the moment. And, they aren’t as expensive to build as we’re led to believe, so the reasoning behind the drive for another SUV is quite simple: Global Appeal and larger profit margins. It really is that simple – Alfa is simply latching onto the tit that is the SUV craze and sucking hard. You can’t blame the brand really, but it’s the same old story. But, that’s not the important part. The important part is how Alfa Romeo is going to deliver 400 ponies from a large SUV, so let me explain further…
New Alfa Romeo SUV – 400 Horsepower Four-cylinder
Alfa has been working on a simulation using an e-turbo system that runs on 48 Volts
Yeah, you read that heading right – we’re talking about a 400 horsepower four-cylinder. Alfa has been working on a simulation using an e-turbo system that runs on 48 Volts: “I’m quite happy about the result we have obtained coupling a four-cylinder with the 48-volt e-turbo - I think next time we can also use it in production,” Fedeli told us. “With a 2.0-liter turbo engine, you can achieve around 350 to 400bhp. We are driving on a simulator a car like that, we are working on it, and the result is not so bad.”
Of course, Alfa Romeo should be able to use the same platform as that of the Stelvio, but the wheelbase and body will be considerably larger. This means that it will weigh some 450 pounds more than that Stelvio does at this point. Not that big of a deal at a glance, but that extra weight comes with a penalty – one that could be offset by that aforementioned e-turbo system. As you can see, there’s a lot to take into consideration here, so don’t expect to see this new SUV pop up anytime soon. In fact, we may not see it until late 2019 or early 2020 at the earliest. But, with that in mind, it should be a very fine piece of vehicle when Alfa does finally bring it into the public eye.
Beyond the New SUV: A New 4C and Giulietta Hatchback
The new SUV will take on models like the Audi Q7 and Volvo XC90, which is a big deal for Alfa and will give it a shot at a piece of the pie, but what comes next? Will Alfa continue spitting out SUVs like every other automaker? Well, one would think so based on current trends, but according to AutoExpress the next project on the docket is a replacement for the Giulietta hatchback. From there, Alfa bosses are apparently trying to determine whether to just revamp the 4C or reinvent it with an all-new chassis and engine. Needless to say, this “trio of models” is set to bring some exciting developments from the Italian brand over the next five to 10 years. We can’t wait. How about you?
Alfa Romeo Stelvio
Read our full review on the 2017 Alfa Romeo Stelvio.
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