Alfa Romeo Planning a Battery-Electric Flagship SUV

Alfa Romeo plans to build an all-electric SUV larger than the Stelvio, above, to compete against BMW.

Alfa Romeo will launch an all-electric SUV in 2027.

The flagship battery-electric SUV will be larger than the midsize Stelvio and will compete with the BMW X5, a vehicle an brand that Alfa execs believes to be their key competitor, according to a report in Automotive News. 

Alfa’s electric future

The move comes as no surprise, given that the company announced in August 2021 of its intention to begin dropping its internal combustion engines in 2027. While other brands including Bentley, Mercedes-Benz and Volvo have laid out roadmaps to take them toward an all-electric future, Alfa Romeo has yet to make a hybrid, although a plug-in hybrid version of the upcoming Tonale SUV is expected to reach dealers this year. 

2023 Alfa Romeo Tonale - inside front 3-4
The 2023 Alfa Romeo Tonale crossover is expoected to reach dealers later this year.

When it arrives, the vehicle will be the brand’s fourth SUV, as the Stellantis brand currently sells the Stelvio, which launched in 2017, the Tonale which goes on sale this year, and an even smaller SUV scheduled for 2024.

While not confirmed, online reports suggest it might be named Brennero. Whether that model would be sold in the U.S. remains to be seen, as it uses the eCMP electric architecture used for vehicles not sold in America, including the Peugeot e-208, e-2008, Opel Corsa-e, Mokka-e, DS3 Crossback E-Tense and Citroën ë-C4.

Despite the flood of SUVs wearing the Alfa Romeo badge, it will not exclusively sell SUVs, meaning a new Guilia is coming, most like as a battery-electric sedan.

What’s around the corner

Despite the flood of Alfa Romeo SUVs, the company has pledged to continue production of the Giulia.

While the 2023 Tonale went into production in March, it has yet to reach these shores, but should later this year. Reports suggest the Italian automaker hopes to sell 10,000-15,000 units stateside. The plug-in hybrid delivers more than 30 miles of electric range, and 272 horsepower. All-wheel drive is standard. The new vehicle uses a heavily revised version of the similarly sized Jeep Compass platform, which underpins some of Jeep’s most popular vehicles in Italy.

Alfa Romeo is also launching a new Estrema trim, which builds on the brand’s Veloce trim but add something of real value: the Alfa Active Suspension and other driving dynamics technology from the Quadrifoglio. But it shares its all-aluminum, 2.0-liter direct-injection turbocharged engine with Alfa’s Sprint, Ti, and Veloce models.

“Estrema models benefit from continuous dynamics and weight collaboration with Alfa Romeo’s F1 Team ORLEN to get the most out of Formula 1 know-how,” the company said, but didn’t provide any further details upon its reveal late last month.

Now that the Alfa Romeo 4C Spider is no longer built, the automaker doesn’t sell a sports car.

Building market share in North America

But the company is hoping the Tonale and the company’s trim level additions will spark sales in the U.S. market. Alfa Romeo remains a small North American presence despite its legendary heritage. 

In 2021, Alfa Romeo sold 18,240 vehicles in the U.S., down 1.8% from the 18,586 vehicles it sold in 2020, including 7,634 Giulia sedans, 77 4C sports cars, and 10,539 Stelvio SUVs. If that seems meager, it did outsell fellow Stellantis brands Chrysler at 16,677 units, Maserati at 7,615 units and Fiat at 2,374 units.

Source: The Detroit Bureau Read More