Click above to view high-res gallery of the Alfa Romeo Kamal concept

If Alfa Romeo is to make a successful return to the North American market, it will need to rely on more than its sexy Italian image. On these shores, that means two contradictory elements are needed in its line-up: sport-utes and green tech. Towards that end, Alfa's newly-appointed CEO, Fiat Group wunderkind Luca de Meo, has confirmed two new developments for the company. The first is the production of a sport-utility or crossover vehicle. The second is a start-stop engine system, possibly to be bolstered by hybrid technology borrowed from parent company Fiat.

The crossover, previewed by the Kamal concept at the 2003 Geneva show, is scheduled to debut in 2010. It is anticipated to be based on the 159 platform, which already supports Alfa's Q4 all-wheel-drive system and offers a range of gasoline and turbodiesel engines. Upon its arrival to market, the new Italian SUV will face tough competition from Germany's best compact SUVs, including the Mercedes GLK, BMW X3, Volkswagen Tiguan and Audi Q5.

Related GalleryAlfa Romeo Kamal concept

[Source: Auto Motor und Sport]