Red, White, and… Green? Alfa Romeo plans to raise the Italian Flag to new heights in America by expanding its new U.S. lineup and soon. It’s part of parent company Fiat Chrysler’s plan to spend $6 billion on Alfa Romeo’s expansion in North America.
In all, Alfa Romeo plans to launch eight new vehicles by 2018. The first two to expect are a luxury sedan and SUV. The automaker is also working on a small and mid-sized sedan, a pair of compact cars, another SUV, and a sports car. We should get a first look at the sedan this summer and it will likely arrive in 2016. The SUV is expected is expected by early 2017, according to Automotive News.
The automaker hopes to have all of its new models on the road between 2016 to 2018. It goes without saying that’s a big goal for an Italian automotive icon that was basically run out of town 20-years ago in 1995 due to dismal sales. In fact, Alfa Romeo sold only 523 vehicles in the U.S. that year before hitting the road.
But that all changed with last year’s arrival of the much applauded 4C sportster, a performance luxury car that’s seemingly brought the brand back in a big way. The car takes six weeks to build and only 400 or so of the hand-built, lightweight, mid engine coupes with removable tops will reportedly be available each year across North America.
In terms of Alfa Romeos new offerings, we don’t have official names yet. The sedan is being referred to as the Giulia, but for now it’s dubbed the D-sedan and the SUV is likewise called the D-segment SUV. The names aren’t the only missing pieces. In an interview with Automotive News, Reid Bigland, head of Alfa Romeo, declined to talk about specifics such as powertrains, pricing, and trim options. However, he did say he’s confident the D-sedan is “going to blow your Italian socks off when you look at the specifications associated with this vehicle.” Of course, this can only happen if you happen to be wearing Italian socks and if Alfa Romeo comes through with the cars to match.
The sedan will likely be going up against the BMW 3-Series, Mercedes-Benz C-Class, and Audi A4, while the SUV will do battle with the BMW X3, Audi Q5 and Porsche Macan.
“I think with the D-sedan, you can expect performance at or above the Porsche, BMW and Mercedes for like-to-like classes,” Bigland said. “With our base, our mid and our high, look for them to be a little bit of a notch above based on what they have in the market right now.”
That’s a big claim to make for a brand that’s only just arrived back on U.S. soil, so stay tuned!