Alfa Romeo officially made its return to the U.S. last year with the arrival of its 4C, Motor Authority's Best Car to Buy 2015. The superb sports car will be followed this year by the open-top 4C Spider, and then it’s time for the long-awaited mainstream models that will really determine if Fiat Chrysler Automobiles [NYSE:FCAU] has what it takes to make the legendary Italian brand a success on these shores.
The first of the mainstream models will be a small, premium sedan to rival the likes of the Audi A4 and BMW 3-Series. It will be unveiled June 24 in Milan, Italy and is expected to be called a “Giulia”, though Alfa Romeo is yet to announce an actual name for the car.
Unfortunately, we’ll have to wait until the first quarter of 2016 to see the sedan in the U.S. The information was revealed by Alfa’s U.S. chief Reid Bigland during an interview with Automotive News (subscription required).
Beyond the small sedan, Alfa Romeo will launch two new compact cars, another small model, a mid-size sedan, a pair of SUVs and a specialty sports car in the years 2016 to 2018, according to its five-year strategy announcement made last year.
According to Bigland, a small SUV will be the next mainstream Alfa to reach the U.S. It will arrive either in the fourth quarter of 2016 or possibly early 2017, he said. Key rivals will be the Audi Q5 and BMW X3.
Bigland didn’t reveal details about Alfa’s plans for its other upcoming cars, but there are a few things we already know about them. The compact cars are expected to be a sedan and hatch similar to Audi’s A3 range. The second small model will likely be a wagon version of the 3-Series rival, and the mid-size sedan will essentially be a 5-Series rival. One of the two planned SUVs will be the small SUV mentioned above, and the second will likely be a compact though there’s also the possibility it will be a mid-sizer. Finally, the specialty sports car is thought to be Alfa’s version of Maserati’s new sports car based on the Alfieri concept car.