Alfa Romeo first hinted at the possibility of launching a crossover as early as 2003, when it unveiled the stylish Kamal concept car at the Geneva Motor Show.

However, development of a production version didn’t really start in earnest until it was confirmed Alfa Romeo would return to North America, which Sergio Marchionne, the boss of Alfa’s parent company, Fiat, has stated will now happen by the end of this year.

While 10 years may have passed since the Kamal’s unveiling, it seems like we’re no closer to seeing Alfa Romeo launch a crossover, but according to a new report we may just see such a vehicle in the next couple of years.

According to Bloomberg, development of a new Alfa Romeo crossover has already started and the vehicle should be hitting showrooms in 2015.

It will be just one of nine new models to be launched by Alfa Romeo over the next four years. The automaker’s current lineup consists of just two models, the MiTo and Giulietta hatchbacks.

The new crossover is a crucial model for Alfa Romeo’s U.S. return, which comes as no surprise given the popularity of tall-riding models in this country. To speed up development, it will share its underpinnings with Jeep’s replacement for the Liberty, which is due for a reveal at the 2013 New York Auto Show and is rumored to revive the Cherokee nameplate.

Those underpinnings will be the front-wheel-drive Compact U.S. Wide (CUSW) platform found in a variety of vehicles including the Alfa Romeo Giulietta and Dodge Dart. All-wheel drive will be offered as an option.

Production will take place at the Mirafiori plant near Fiat’s headquarters in Turin, Italy, and Alfa Romeo will sell the vehicle worldwide.

While the new Alfa Romeo crossover isn’t likely to appear until 2015 at the earliest, we will be treated to a few tastier models before then. They include the 4C sports car due out later this year, followed by the 159-replacing Giulia sedan in 2014 and the Mazda MX-5-based Spider in 2015.