Alfa Romeo is developing a new Giulia coupé that features a Formula 1-style energy recovery system (ERS), according to Autocar’s sources.
Two powertrains are said to be under development using the system. One is based on the 276bhp 2.0-litre turbo petrol engine used in the Giulia Veloce saloon. The other uses the 2.9-litre turbo petrol V6 of the Giulia Quadrifoglio.
The 2.0 version develops around 345bhp combined, and the 2.9 V6 a mighty 641bhp to create the most potent road- going Alfa Romeo yet, with an output only 20bhp short of the 661bhp Ferrari 488.
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The forward set of exterior panels are likely to be carried over, but there will be a new rear roofline, different rear quarter panels and longer doors to ease access to the rear seats. Alfa will likely be keen to provide good rear-seat accommodation. Its previous GT model provided excellent accommodation for a coupé and sold better as a result. A new nose design, to distinguish the coupé from the saloon, is also likely.
The Giulia coupé will probably have a conventional boot, but it’s conceivable that Alfa might develop a five-door hatch version to compete with the Audi A5 Sportback and the BMW 4 Series Gran Coupé, a derivative that would significantly widen its appeal.
A conventional Giulia engine range is also likely to be offered, consisting of the 197bhp and 276bhp 2.0 turbo petrols and the 503bhp Quadrifoglio V6. The 148bhp diesel is also a possibility.
The ERS may well be a development of the HY-KERS set-up developed by Ferrari and Magneti Marelli for the LaFerrari, which, the company claims, is more advanced than the type used in its F1 cars. It is performance rather than economy and emissions oriented, the electric motor’s ample low-end torque complementing the petrol engine’s torque curve, which is fatter at higher revs.
Nevertheless, the ERS powertrains will produce fewer emissions and better fuel consumption than conventional engines of similar outputs. Installation of the system is likely to present Alfa Romeo with quite a packaging challenge. The motor, control systems, inverter and battery pack will all need to be accommodated and there might also be a liquid cooling system to optimise battery performance and durability, as with the LaFerrari.
The launch of these high- performance hybrids should do much to bolster Alfa Romeo’s already improving reputation for competitive hardware, potentially helping to give the brand the kind of technological lead it enjoyed in the 1960s.