Alfa mail

The sick child of the Fiat em­pire mus­cles up with an SUV and a coupe

Herald Sun - Motoring - - Prestige News - NEIL DOWL­ING neil.dowl­ing@cars­

TY­ING the knot with Chrysler puts Fiat Group in the driver’s seat for a range of SUVs.

Alfa has re­vealed a con­cept pic­ture of an SUV to ri­val the BMWX3 and Audi Q5 in size. Re­ports sug­gest it is based on the Jeep Com­pass plat­form and could go on sale in 2013 af­ter a show de­but next year. It will be built along­side Euro­peanspec­i­fi­ca­tion Jeeps at Fiat’s Mi­rafiori fac­tory in Turin.

Italy is Jeep’s big­gest Euro­pean mar­ket.

The Alfa SUV may ar­rive in the show­rooms at the same time as a Maserati SUV. In turn, the Jeep Grand Chero­kee will be pow­ered by a Maser­atiFer­rari en­gine.

There is a smaller SUV, also based on a chopped Com­pass plat­form, to be mar­keted as a Fiat SUV. This will ri­val the BMWX1 and com­ing Audi Q3.

Alfa Romeo is sig­nalling star­tling changes to its line-up next year. Us­ing par­ent Fiat’s grasp of Chrysler as a route to the US, Alfa plans to launch the new SUV, a mid-size Gi­u­lia sedan to re­place the 159, and a mid-en­gined coupe mark­ing a re­turn to its sport­ing roots.

The Alfa Romeo 4C coupe, an un­ex­pected in­clu­sion at this year’s Geneva mo­tor show, has gone from con­cept to hav­ing a build date and es­ti­mated price tag in six months.

The 4C is a street-ready en­hance­ment of Alfa’s 33 Stradale of 1967, which was based on the (then) 33 model. The 4C is based on Gi­uli­etta com­po­nents.

How­ever, in­stead of a fron­tengine, front-drive lay­out, the 4m, 850kg coupe puts its 150kW, 1.8-litre, four-cylin­der tur­bocharged en­gine be­hind the two seats and drives the rear wheels. In­sid­ers say it’s good for 0-100km/h in un­der five sec­onds, on to 250km/h.

Price is ex­pected to be about that of theBMW335i Coupe, $115,000 in Aus­tralia.

Ini­tially, Alfa slated pro­duc­tion at only 1500 but that has been in­creased to 4000 a year. It will also build up to 10,000 road­ster ver­sions over an un­spec­i­fied time for Fiat Group per­for­mance arm Abarth.

The 4C will be Alfa’s first affordable rear-drive, two-door sports car since the 1994 Duetto Spi­der.

Alfa made 1000 ex­am­ples of the 8C us­ing Maserati en­gines in 2007-08 but these were left­hand drive only, cost­ing about $270,000.

Con­cept: The planned Alfa Romeo SUV Photo: Dave Moore

Street-ready: Alfa Romeo’s tur­bocharged 4C coupe

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