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