Currently reading: Alfa Romeo starts work on Maserati-based SUV
Alfa to take on mid-size SUV rivals from Porsche and Land Rover with new SUV, which should arrive in showrooms in 2016
2 mins read
6 November 2014

This unlikely looking Maserati-based mule is the first evidence of the upcoming Alfa SUV, which should arrive in showrooms in 2016.

The new SUV is expected to be sold in both rear and all-wheel drive versions, featuring the same drive system as the Quattroporte Q4. It will have a distinctly sporting brief, being more of a spiritual competitor to the dynamic Porsche Macan, while trying to capture the kind of stand out styling that has made the Range Rover Evoque a global best seller.

Judging by these pictures, the new Alfa SUV will be based on a shortened version of the Maserati Ghibli platform.

Close examination of these pictures reveal that this mule has a shorter rear door than the production Ghibli, a shorter wheelbase and less space between the front wheel and the front door - all of which points to the Alfa SUV being some 300mm shorter than the Maserati donor car, at around 4.65m long. 

This mule also has the correct windscreen surround and roofline for the final Alfa bodystyle. Judging by the aggressive angle of the roof and the position of the rear wheel, this Alfa will be marked out by dramatically curvaceous bodywork.

Its Maserati roots should also endow the Alfa with double wishbone front suspension, independent rear suspension and the option of adaptive damping.

It will have the option of V6 petrol and diesel engines but unlike the Maserati range, will also be offered with MultiAir four-cylinder turbocharged petrol and diesel engines. 

The latter units will be the first diesels to use the MultiAir variable valve timing and lift technology and will help the motors meet new EU6 pollution laws.

There have also been unconfirmed rumours that the top of the range Alfa engines will feature ‘developed by Ferrari’ sub-branding. The Alfa SUV will get the same eight-speed automatic transmission as the Maserati range, but a manual transmission looks less likely.

The Alfa Romeo brand will be formally re-launched as a competitor in the highly profitable global premium car market next June, when the new BMW 5-series-sized, rear-drive, Alfa Giulietta will be unveiled. This SUV is expected to become the second new-generation Alfa model line because the market for premium SUVs is booming and would be highly receptive to a new entrant.

There will also be a big Maserati SUV model based on the full-size Ghibli platform, for which the styling has already been signed off. This Maserati model is expected to be built at Fiat’s Mirafiori factory, a section of which is currently being overhauled and re-fitted. Badged Levante, the first Maserati SUV could be unveiled at next March’s Geneva motor show.


Find an Autocar review

Read our review

Car review
Maserati Levante

Maserati's first stab at an SUV sees the Italian brand building foundations to be a true luxury power in the shape of the Levante

Back to top

Get the latest car news, reviews and galleries from Autocar direct to your inbox every week. Enter your email address below:

6 November 2014
no, in June there shall be a 3-series sized Giulia. The 5-series sized car is slated for between 2016-2018.

6 November 2014
I hope they don't go down the Porsche route and merge a iconic sports car meets 4X4 styling. The 8C was stunning as a sports car, as an SUV I dont think it would look so good...

6 November 2014
I wish Alfa all the success in the world now that they found the feet in terms of using the right platforms and designing products to compete with the best, but i fear that all this is happening way too fast. For years, Alfa has had to survive with underwhelming r&d, a limited and uncompetitive product range, overtly negative press, and poor sales, but soon it will have a complete range. Trust in a brand takes years, and Alfa Romeo (despite its history) will now essentially be like a new brand again. I am concerned that even if their models end up beautiful and competitive amongst the class leaders, how many people will have the confidence or blind faith to buy one over the well established Germans? I'll buy a Giullia in a heart beat, because I'm a car nut, however to many people, this car will be another product in the segment. I think Alfa needs get things done right with the Giullia, and focus on marketing and advertisement before developing another model. This is essentially a second life for the brand, it needs to be a success.

6 November 2014
As has already been pointed out, I believe that the latest Alfa 'road map' talks of a 3 series competitor named Giulia come June 2015, although I cannot say I am surpised at your confusion, considering the ever changing Alfa Romeo development plan.

Fingers crossed it works, this time around.

6 November 2014
Nailed it, agree with you 100% you could also add the difficulty the poor dealers are having surviving with just MiTo and Giulietta as a range. Ok the 4c has sold out but it's never going to be a volume seller and hardly enough to keep a dealership going.

6 November 2014
So the new 4x4 will add weight to what is already a heavy saloon. Don't count on any sort of agility or ride sophistication, or fuel economy, or even space. Sergio Marchionne is not serious about Alfa, and here's proof. In fact a 4x4 Alfa suv is the last thing the world wants or needs right now.

6 November 2014
I hope FCA will spend the money using quality materials to match BMW / Mercedes / Range Rover in their new Alfa models. All the time the cars are let down by the use of cheap materials in the cabin. Alfa also needs to sort out its dire dealer network and invest some money there if it wants to build up sale in the UK.

6 November 2014
oh comes another 8C inspired mule......I hope not

9 November 2014
All future Alfas will come through the Special Works. All will be rear wheel drive, or AWD. Money now is not a problem, so we will see the true abilities, of what Alfa can achieve.
The 4C was nicked off Abarth, at the 11th hour, and priced IMO way too dear, yet, they sold out.
New engines are on the way, so watch this space!

10 November 2014
Oh dear. Is this going to be an Alfa gem (like the Bertone Coupe or the GTV6) or a turkey (like the Arna or the Brera)? Hmmm, I'm an Alfaholic but I'm smelling brussel sprouts and Xmas pud. I'll be delighted if I'm wrong. Also, aren't 2wd SUVs normally FWD rather than RWD? With all that weight and RWD, it'll handle like a pig in slippery conditions surely? (Enough food metaphors methinks.)

Add your comment

Log in or register to post comments

Find an Autocar car review