But the brand is far from dead.
Not so long ago we were unsure about Alfa Romeo's future. Sales of the Alfa Romeo Giulia and Stelvio have not met expectations even though both are excellent vehicles, especially the 505-horsepower Quadrifoglio variants. Aside from sharing a Ferrari-derived 2.9-liter twin-turbo V6, both ride on the same rear-wheel-drive Giorgio platform. The Giulia was the first to make use of this architecture, launched when Sergio Marchionne was leading Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA), now Stellantis along with the PSA Groupe. Very sadly, the Giorgio setup is being retired.
Automotive News Europe reports Alfa Romeo's new CEO, Jean Philippe Imparato, has confirmed the platform's demise as the iconic marque will switch to the "STLA Large" architecture. All future Stellantis brand vehicles are set to soon switch to four different STLA platform sizes: Small, Medium, Large, and Frame.
The latter is for high-riding vehicles like trucks and large SUVs. All four will be electrified and two are pure battery electrics. STLA Large will likely be a plug-in hybrid setup. STLA Medium will be the first to arrive in 2023, so the Giulia and Stelvio are not going anywhere just yet. Remember, the Giorgio platform was designed at a time when Marchionne wanted to turn Alfa into a serious BMW-fighting luxury brand. It came awfully close.
The Giulia QV often came out the winner in direct matchups against the previous generation BMW M3, the longtime high-performance luxury sedan benchmark. Marchionne also wanted to see the flexible and AWD capable Giorgio setup to serve as the basis for additional FCA vehicles.
In theory, this was a good idea but the architecture proved to be too expensive for other brands like Dodge and Chrysler. Alfa Romeo alone couldn't generate enough volume to achieve sufficient economies of scale to help recoup development costs. In 2019, FCA was forced to write off its over 800 million euro investment on the platform.
In related Alfa news, Imparato confirmed the delayed launch of the new Tonale small luxury crossover in order to improve things like range and performance. He also said a smaller crossover slotted below the Tonale, possibly named Brennero, is the STLA-based model that'll debut first in 2023.