Back off VW, this is purely an Italian thing.
It’s literally make or break time for Alfa Romeo. As part of Fiat-Chrysler, the iconic brand has lots of potential but in order to fulfill that, there needs to be proper investment in a new product. That’s now happening. Aside from the extremely limited 4C, we’re about to have an entirely new and mainstream Alfa lineup consisting of purely rear-wheel-drive models. Add to that some healthy doses of Italian design and emotion, and the future is looking bright.
No wonder Volkswagen has been anxious to buy Alfa from Fiat. It sees the full potential here. As part of the new $7 billion investment, Alfa plans to increase global sales to 400,000 in 2018. Just 74,000 Alfas were sold last year, for comparison. So how will Alfa accomplish that sales goal? By doing the following: A new midsize sedan, possibly called the Giulia, will target the Audi A6 and will hit the US by the end of 2016. Consider this the direct successor to the 159. Power will come from a new range of direct-injection engines featuring single or twin turbochargers. A pair of diesel engines is also in the pipeline, but they remain solely for Europe.
Next up is a new midsize SUV that’ll rival the Audi Q5. Expect that in late 2016 as well. Then there’s the flagship sedan. It’ll take on heavy hitters like the A8 and BMW 7 Series head-on. Interestingly, it won’t offer a V8. Those are the three main models in the works, and while a 4C Spyder is planned, it too will be limited. Looking further ahead, expect a new roadster based on the next Mazda MX-5, a midsize coupe, a large SUV, and even a compact hatchback.