WIDE RANGE OF POWERTRAINS LIKELY FOR THE NEXT BIG THING
Alfa Romeo is working on a large sedan to rival the likes of the BMW 5 Series and Mercedes-Benz E-Class, according to a new report out of Britain.
Sitting above the Giulia sedan in the company’s line-up, the new 5 Series rival will probably share its rear-wheel-drive platform with its smaller sibling. Reports also point to a range of powertrains that would include a plug-in hybrid variant and the company’s first six-cylinder diesel, along with a range of four-cylinder turbo petrols and diesel’s also shared with the Giulia.
Harald Wester, Fiat Chrysler’s (FCA) chief technology officer, said the large premium sedan would add to the list of eight upcoming models to be launched by the end of the decade.
“It will be a relatively fast sequence of relevant and saleable products like saloons and SUVs,” he said.
“We owe our investors a constant stream of new, fresh global products that can be sold.”
Wester also hinted the Ferrari-developed 375kW 2.9-litre twin-turbo V6 from the Giulia QV could feature in the larger sedan.
The Alfa Romeo Stelvio in test camouflage (above)
The full-size Alfa sedan is expected to debut sometime in 2018, following the release of the Giulia range and the brand’s first SUV – the Stelvio.
Auto Express also quotes Fabrizio Curci, boss of Alfa Romeo’s European arm, saying electrification will begin around 2018 – possibly coinciding with the release of the larger sedan along with the Stelvio SUV.
“The platform is built to support whatever kind of electrification we do,” said Curci. “It can support everything from plug-in hybrid to full electric.”
This points to not only PHEV variants of Alfa’s upcoming models but also full EV versions in the not-too-distant future. Also supported by the modular platform are four-wheel-drive and semi-autonomous driving systems which are likely to be offered with the new sedan.
The 2003 Alfa Romeo Kamal concept
FCA announced in 2014 that it would invest €5 billion to revamp the Alfa Romeo line-up to rival German powerhouses Audi, BMW and Mercedes-Benz. The accompanying product timeline detailed eight new models by 2018, however this was recently revised to 2020, although no concrete details have been announced yet.
Before we see Alfa’s 5 Series competitor, the Italian car-maker will release the Stelvio SUV.
Riding on the same platform as the closely related Giulia, the Stelvio will be joined later by the large sedan and then a smaller SUV – rumoured to be called the Kamal.
A replacement for the Giulietta hatch is also in the pipeline, along with a pair of “specialty models” – one of which could come in the form of a revamped 4C.
Curci added: “We are thinking of how to do a special version [of the 4C], but not a Cloverleaf [QV]. We are thinking of what to do, but it won’t change the DNA – a different look and feel, maybe”.
Although a 2018 release is mooted, it’s possible the new sedan could be pushed back closer to 2020 if the Giulia’s release is anything to go by.