Alfa Romeo LA Auto Show News

Alfa Romeo LA Auto Show News

Every Alfa Romeo will be rear- or all wheel-drive; some Ferrari engineers will work on them

At the Los Angeles Auto Show yesterday, Alfa Romeo executives gave further details of their ambitious eight-product onslaught aimed at boosting worldwide sales to 400,000 by 2018. That's right, eight new Alfas are coming our way, and it's already started with the fabulous 4C.

While they gave no specifics on exactly what the seven products after the 4C would look like, Reid Bigland, head of U.S. sales, said they'd all share three things: high technology, high performance and drop-dead gorgeous design and style. That might be four things. And they'll all be rear- or all wheel-drive, too. Which makes five things. No matter, they're coming, amidst a $6.5-billion investment in R&D that will include engineers from all of the company's best affiliates, including Ferrari. Just think, parts of your next Alfa sedan might be designed by a Ferrari engineer.

"The core team has approximately 600 engineers working on the projects, between vehicles and specific powertrains," said Maserati CEO Harald Wester, who was also onhand at the Los Angeles Auto Show. "This will grow further until mid-next year to over 1000, which should be okay as a core team to develop baselines for all applications."

Car Reviews Driving the Alfa Romeo 4C, finally, on US soil "Colin Chapman," says Fiat Chrysler design boss Lorenzo Ramaciotti on the eve of -- finally -- the U.S. introduction of Alfa Romeo's 2015 4C, "was one of my heroes . "This, and Those "applications" will include, ".sedans, utility vehicles and specialities," said Wester. "Everything is well along the way." Beyond that, what, exactly "everything" meant was officially left unanswered for now. So we'll go with the following, which appeared in our sister publication Automotive News two months ago following the eight-product announcement by Sergio Marchionne May 6.

Midsize sedan: Code-named Project 952, a midsize sedan will be the first of Alfa Romeo's new products and will target models such as the Audi A6 (ed. note: or the Audi 4). The sedan is scheduled to debut in European showrooms in mid-2016 and in the U.S. by the end of that year.

Midsize SUV: This Audi Q5 rival is set to debut in the second half of 2016, sharing its underpinnings and engine range with the midsize sedan.

Large sedan: Alfa Romeo's new flagship, to rival the Audi A8 and BMW 7 series (ed. note: might also be a smaller 5-Series competitor), will be a large version of the new midsize sedan. It will have powerful versions of the new engine range, but no V-8 is planned.

More models
The timing and complete description of the rest of Alfa's new range are still open, but here is what Automotive News Europe learned from sources with direct knowledge of the plans.

4C Spider: Previewed by a concept in March at the Geneva auto show, the roadster version of the low-volume 4C coupe is due by summer 2015. Despite the spider (roadster) name, this 4C variant is actually a targa model, with a small carbon-fiber roof section that has to be manually removed and stored.

Midsize roadster: Alfa is working on a roadster that will use a shortened version of the midsize sedan platform. A smaller roadster based on the new Mazda MX-5/Miata is due to be built by Mazda in Japan starting next year. It was originally planned as an Afla Romeo model but will now be sold with a Fiat badge. The Alfa roadster will offer more engines than the Mazda-based model, which can only accommodate Fiat's 1.4-liter engine used by the Alfa Giulietta. The larger roadster's engines will include the turbocharged 1.8-liter inline-four of the 4C coupe and a new 2.2-liter inline-four.

Midsize coupe: This derivative of the midsize sedan will comfortably seat four adults. Still under discussion is the final layout. It will be either a standard two-door coupe to rival the Audi A5 and BMW 4 series or a four-door coupe-stlyed model to compete with the Audi A7 and the BMW 6-series Gran Coupe.

Large SUV: Alfa Romeo has long planned a large SUV, mainly for the United States and China. The production model most likely will be a sibling to the Maserati Levante, which goes into production late next year in Fiat's refurbished Mirafiori plant in Turin.

Compact hatchback/sedan and coupe: The final models that Alfa Romeo is considering are undecided because of the different needs of various regions. Europe is asking for a five-door hatchback to replace the current fwd Giulietta and a station wagon variant to rival the Audi A4 and BMW 3-series wagons. North America and Asia have smaller markets for compact hatchbacks and wagons, so executives responsible for these markets are pushing for a four-door sedan and a compact coupe.

That's eight. More details are promised at the Detroit Auto Show in January.



 
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