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Alfa Romeo set to launch compact SUV next year

By raccars Published

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A new compact SUV from Alfa Romeo is heading to the market in 2016, with new details of the firm’s plans emerging in the past week.

Alfa Romeo is set to become the latest manufacturer to take on the compact SUV crossover market. A new vehicle based upon the underpinnings of the latest generation of the Giulia saloon is set to make its debut in 2016, according to AutoExpress. It will arrive in the same segment as rivals including the X3 from BMW and Alfa is also thought to be working on a larger equivalent to take on the X5 at its own game.

Full details of the Giulia SUV should be made public in the first half of next year, while it is not likely to go on sale in the UK until the end of 2016 or early in 2017. Current indications are that it will be heavily influenced by the standard saloon with which it shares a platform, albeit with a larger, higher riding body which will give it the more rugged credentials required of an SUV.

Engine power looks promising

Insiders believe that the SUV version of the Giulia, which may not share the same name tag as its saloon counterpart, will nevertheless benefit from the presence of the same modern power plants under the bonnet. That means that a standard 2.2 litre diesel engine will be an option, with between 150bhp and 210bhp at its disposal. There is a degree of vagueness surrounding the actual power output at the moment because Alfa has not confirmed or denied the rumours. Nor has it finalised the design of this range, but it certainly sounds as though it is heading towards the upper end of the spectrum in terms of performance.

The diesel engine will be joined by a 2.0 litre petrol alternative, boasting anywhere from 200bhp to 280bhp, depending on the direction that Alfa’s engineers finally decide to take. Some are suggesting that there may even be a high end Giulia SUV with a 2.9 litre V6 on offer, potentially giving this relatively compact car a maximum of 500bhp and ensuring that it is a truly impressive arrival on the crossover scene. However, until it is officially launched next year, there will still be a great deal of speculation about what will actually be achievable with this range.

Release plans go ahead

It was recently suggested that the Giulia saloon was being held back due to delays in the development process, although it has subsequently been suggested that in reality it is actually being deliberately slowed by Alfa so that the SUV version can be simultaneously delivered, allowing both to launch in roughly the same time frame. And the firm’s eagerness to embrace the rising sales of SUV across the world may mean that other projects are put on hold or even scrapped altogether, according to some sources.

The fate of the Alfa Romeo Giulietta is apparently hanging in the balance at the moment. Once the current generation is retired, the manufacturer may replace it with an entirely different model, rather than updating it, however it is expected to run with the features that will allow it to target the small family car segment. In fact another SUV, perhaps aimed at taking on the Nissan Qashqai, is reportedly being considered.

The demand for SUVs is strong in the UK, so expect to see Alfa Romeo launching its new compact off-roaders over here. And with the lure of strong markets in North America and China, the compact SUV trend shows no signs of slowing.

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