With recent trends leaning towards SUVs, Alfa Romeo is set to dip its toes even further into this hotly competitive market
Jim Holder
29 September 2016

Alfa Romeo's next all-new cars are likely to be dictated by the rapid growth of the highly profitable SUV segment - starting with the Stelvio mid-sized SUV, and potentially growing to include all-new larger and smaller models. 

The Stelvio will be revealed at the Los Angeles motor show in November before going on sale in mid-2017.

View the latest spy pictures of Alfa Romeo's Stelvio here.

Alfa Romeo CEO Reid Bigland says it will stand out from rivals such as the BMW X3 through a combination of better driving dynamics, more advanced technology and more emotive styling. "When people drive that car,' they will understand we are being true to the Alfa DNA," said Bigland.

Beyond that, Bigland declined to confirm any new models, but conceded: "The whole world is gravitating to SUVs. A few years ago an Alfa Romeo or Maserati SUV would have been sacrilegious, but now? It makes sense to give customers what they want. We must keep an eye on consumer preferences."

Asked if an SUV could be Alfa Romeo's halo model, potentially displacing the launch of a BMW 7 Series-rivalling model above the Alfa Giulia, Bigland added: "10 years ago I'd have said we need the saloon to credibly take on the Germans. Now, the explosion in growth of SUV sales changes that. I'm not saying we don't do the saloon, but it might not be next on the list."

A larger, BMW X5-sized SUV or a coupé-styled version of the Stelvio have been mooted for launch in 2018, with a smaller X1 rival also believed to be under discussion. While Bigland refused to talk about specific models, he insisted that driving dynamics would be key to any new launches, probably ruling out a seven-seater.

"Whatever car Alfa Romeo makes must stand apart for its agility, noise and general driving experience," he said. "A large SUV can work in that space - the Maserati Levante proves that - but it's a five, not seven-seater."

Our Verdict

Alfa Romeo Mito

The Alfa Romeo Mito is a usable, fun package, but the DNA system frustrates

Join the debate

Comments
1

30 September 2016
I am hoping that the whole world is not moving to SUVs. It is quite pathetic.

Add your comment

Log in or register to post comments

Find an Autocar car review

Driven this week

  • BRZ Front
    First Drive
    28 February 2017
    With its fractionally sharper dynamics, well-appointed interior and keen price, the Subaru BRZ has never made a stronger case for itself
  • 2017 Smart Forfour Brabus Xclusive
    First Drive
    24 February 2017
    In an urban environment, the Smart Forfour Brabus has some appeal. However, on the open road, you soon learn that it's no hot hatchback
  • Range Rover Sport 3.0 V6 Supercharged HSE Dynamic
    First Drive
    24 February 2017
    New supercharged 3.0-litre V6 adds a cheaper petrol option to the Range Rover Sport line-up, but it isn't as likeable as the diesels
  • Abarth 124 Spider
    First Drive
    24 February 2017
    An expensive proposition, yes, but the Abarth 124 Spider thrills and excites enough on UK roads to send its price to the back of your mind
  • Bentley Mulsanne Speed
    First Drive
    23 February 2017
    An enthralling delight on so many levels, and yet disappointing in a few critical areas