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Alfa Romeo to go mainstream with more SUVs, but won’t give up on saloons

Alfa Romeo is hoping the new Tonale compact SUV will help thrust it into the mainstream, and there are more to follow.

Alfa Romeo is hoping the new Tonale compact SUV will help thrust it into the mainstream, and there are more to follow.

Published Jul 8, 2022


Turin, Italy: Alfa Romeo, although renowned for its more passionate approach to motoring, is going to have to earn its keep within the Stellantis empire and, like it or not, this is going to result in more SUVs.

In an interview with Autocar, Alfa Romeo’s UK boss Damien Dally said the Italian marque wanted to expand into more volume segments as it attempts to become a more “rational” and mainstream brand.

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Alfa Romeo has announced the Tonale compact SUV, but the brand is also expected to launch a smaller crossover called the Brennero, which would compete with the Volkswagen T-Cross and offer a choice of internal combustion and electric powertrains.

Alfa Romeo is also planning to launch a larger flagship SUV that will be powered by batteries only, the company’s CEO Jean-Philippe Imparto confirmed earlier this year.

However, this model is set to arrive in only 2027, the year in which the company plans to become electric-only, Inside EVs reported. The vehicle will apparently be larger than the Stelvio and will compete with the BMW X5, which will surely have an electric equivalent by then.

While many traditionalists will not appreciate the move towards SUVs, the carmaker says it wants to attract a more diverse audience, including females and family car buyers, Autocar reported.

“I think we need to spread the Alfa story to a wider audience while still being pure to what we do,” UK boss Dally told the British publication.

However he also stated that, even though SUVs would take priority, the brand believed in saloon cars as these were “part of what Alfa Romeo has always been about”.

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In terms of future saloon car plans, the company is expected to launch an all-electric replacement for the Giulia at some point, although the rear-wheel drive combustion model will carry on for another few years, with an upcoming facelift keeping it fresh.

Smaller hatchbacks, like a Mito replacement, and sports cars like a reincarnated Spider have not been ruled out either.

Earlier this year, in another interview with Autocar, Alfa Romeo CEO Imparto said he would love to see a new Duetto (AKA Spider) in the company’s line-up.

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“If I bring a good level of business, I’m sure that Carlos Tavares (Stellantis CEO) and I will one day speak about some dream cars, because I have to support the storytelling of Alfa Romeo in the future. It’s not for tomorrow, but I would love to have a Duetto one day,” Imparto said.

While mainstream products will need to make the sums work, one positive is that Stellantis is planning to make stronger investments in the Italian brand. Last year Stellantis Chairman John Elkann was quoted as saying that Alfa Romeo and Lancia would enjoy “much greater opportunities” within the new automotive group.

IOL Motoring

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