Last month an early test mule for a new Alfa Romeo SUV was spotted testing in Italy. The new SUV is one of two high-riding models the Italian marque plans to launch between 2016 and 2018, and it is being designed as a small, sporty alternative to the likes of the BMW X3 and Mercedes-Benz GLC. The second SUV from Alfa Romeo will be a mid-size model to take on the BMW X5 and Mercedes GLE.
Not much is known about Alfa Romeo’s SUVs apart from their intended competition. However, Sergio Marchionne, the CEO of Alfa Romeo parent company Fiat Chrysler Automobiles [NYSE:FCAU], recently revealed a few details during a conference call with analysts. Marchionne said that Alfa Romeo’s next model after the Giulia small sedan was on track to enter production around mid-2016.
He didn’t say what the next model would be but supplier sources have revealed to Automotive News (subscription required) that it would be the small SUV. The sources said the SUV will share the rear-wheel-drive (with available all-wheel drive) platform developed for the Giulia and most of Alfa Romeo’s other planned models, and that a sales launch in Europe will take place by the fall of 2016. A launch in the United States is expected to take place by the end of 2016, meaning the small SUV will likely be a 2017 model year arrival.
During the conference call, Marchionne said Alfa Romeo had already burned through 40 percent of its 5 billion euros ($5.48 billion) earmarked for development, with most of the funds going towards the marque’s new modular platform and engines. Crucially, Marchionne said the platform could be used by other FCA brands, supporting rumors that it may end up being the basis for several next-generation Chrysler and Dodge models.