FCA’s latest five-year plan announced at its Bolocco Italian proving ground recently included lots of exciting news about the likes of Ram, Dodge, Jeep and Chrysler, but some of the most exciting updates for driving enthusiasts concerned Alfa Romeo. As well as doubling down on SUVs and electrified vehicles, by 2022 the legendary Italian brand has plans to revive both the 8C and GTV names as high-performance hybrids.
Of course, those who keep a keen eye on all things Alfa Romeo may remember that by 2018 we were already supposed to have been treated to eight entirely new products, which were to have included a new “specialty” vehicle. What the company actually delivered were the Giulia and Stelvio, although both have been well received and sold in more than respectable numbers.
Alfa’s boss Tim Kuniskis admitted the previous plans may have been a little too ambitious, but the new vision is claimed to be more realistic while also being perhaps even more far-reaching than the last one.
New products to look out for in coming years are new compact and full-size SUVs to slot into the range above and below the Stelvio. And although plans for a new larger sedan appear to have been shelved, a long-wheelbase version of the Giulia is expected for the burgeoning Chinese market.
The return of the 8C supercar and GTV sports car is without doubt the news that will excite fans of the brand most though. Details are thin on the ground at the moment, but the 8C will employ a carbon-fibre chassis with a mid-mounted twin-turbo V6 engine producing in excess of 520kW, which will then be sent to all four wheels using an electrically-driven front axle propelling the 8C to 100km/h in under three seconds.
Over the last four years Alfa Romeo sales have grown by an impressive 160 percent to the point where the company estimates an annual total of around 170 000 units will be sold worldwide by the end of 2018. Some 16 percent of those sales can now be attributed to the North American market, which is huge growth from almost nowhere as recently as 2013. – AFP Relaxnews