The Stelvio SUV.
TURIN: It doesn't take a business guru or a motor industry expert to know that expanding a manufacturer's SUV and electrified ranges is a smart and potentially profitable way to go in the current market.
It therefore shouldn't come as a surprise that relative newcomer to SUVs and electrification Alfa Romeo is expected to announce a new range of performance hybrids and a new large SUV next month.
Fiat Chrysler Automobiles' CEO Sergio Marchionne is reported by Autocar as saying that he is set to announce the future plans at his company's Balocco test track in Italy exactly 14 years to the day since he took over as boss of FCA.
In addition to the move to build a new large SUV that will be vital to the brand's growing ambitions for US market success, the top man at FCA is also expected to announce detailed plans of a new Giulia coupe. As well as the conventional combustion engines already seen in the sedan it will be based upon, the Giulia coupe will also be offered with high-performance hybrid powertrains.
Likewise, the new large addition to the company's SUV portfolio will be offered with a mild hybrid and an electric turbo using a 48-Volt electrical system. These power boosters are sure to be more than enough to overcome the additional 200kg of weight the new model will be carrying over and above the weight of the existing Stelvio, which the new model will be sharing a platform with.
There's also the possibility of a seven-seat version of the new SUV, which is expected to go on sale towards the end of 2019.
Anyone who thinks the hybrid powerplants that are on the way will offer little more than an acceptable level of performance with a keener focus on efficiency might have to think again. The high-performance energy recovery system (ERS) drivetrains are said to be an adaptation of the HY-KERS system developed by Ferrari and Magneti Marelli for the LaFerrari, which it's claimed are even more advanced than the systems currently used in Formula 1.