After a few streams of news on the various brands in the Fiat Chrysler family, here's the deluge we've been waiting for – Alfa Romeo. The legendary Italian brand is being pointed towards a renaissance, as shown by the brand's five-year plan.
Alfa Romeo will go back to being the brand people admire, according to CEO Harald Wester.
The engineering team will triple within the next 18 months, to 600 people. Their goal? Develop and launch eight, Italian-built products between now and 2018, covering everything from the C-segment (compacts like the Ford Focus) to the E-segment (midsize luxury sedans like the BMW 5 Series). These vehicles would be available with both rear- and all-wheel-drive layouts. Production is being aimed at the second half of 2015, with a sales goal of 400,000 units by 2018 (that's up from just 74,000 units in 2013).
As for what kind of vehicles we should be looking for, we can expect a new midsize sedan late next year. Also arriving in 2015 is Cloverleaf, a far easier to pronounce version of Alfa's Quadrifoglio Verde range. In the past, the cloverleafed cars have traditionally represented the top-of-the-line versions of their mainstream counterparts. It's unclear if the badge will continue to serve in that role, or if Cloverleaf will become Alfa's version of M or AMG.
From 2016 to 2018, though, Alfa will launch a real product onslaught, with two compact products, two CUV/SUVs, a specialty product (likely Alfa's version of the jointly developed Mazda MX-5), a second midsize sedan and a fullsize sedan. This new breed of Alfas will boast a number of qualities when they finally arrive. According to Alfa boss Harald Wester, we can expect 50/50 weight distributions, class-exclusive power-to-weight ratios and Alfa's trademark sense of style and design.
These new vehicles will also use new, advanced and Italian-built engines, according to Wester. Two six-cylinder gas engines will be built, one we'd guess is a diesel with around 300 horsepower and the other burning gasoline to the tune of 400 to 500 hp. The gas range will be rounded out by a high-output, likely turbocharged, four-cylinder engine with 200 to 350 hp. A four-pot oil-burner developing 100 to 200 hp will likely be the best choice for economy.
The goal here? "Go back to the Alfa Romeo that people admired," Wester said during today's presentation. We wholly support that. What do you think about this plan? Is this too ambitious? Is Alfa not planning enough? Let us know in Comments.