Former FCA chief executive Sergio Marchionne had big plans for Alfa Romeo, but now, it has been confirmed that those proposals are off under the company’s new leadership in the name of a “rationalized portfolio plan.” In fact, next to a facelifted Giulia sedan debuting in 2021, all Alfa Romeo will give us in the future will be crossovers and SUVs, either with a hybrid system or a full electric drivetrain. That means the GTV coupé based on the Giulia’s rear-wheel-drive platform is cancelled and so is anything else that may remind you of a sports car, including the proposed mid-engine 8C.
Now that Peugeot owner PSA is merging with FCA, it remains to be seen who will want to use the only modern rear-wheel-drive platform they will have, which is Fiat’s Giorgio, the one underpinning the Giulia and the Stelvio SUV. Perhaps Peugeot, for its dream of a luxury car that can be pitted against Audi? Or maybe Dodge to put an end to all “Mercedes E-Class from the last century” jokes? The latter would go against Marchionne’s original plans, but that doesn’t seem to be a factor anymore.
What we know for sure is that next to the great-driving yet slow-selling Giulia and Stelvio pair comes a compact SUV called the Tonale for 2020, followed by a plug-in hybrid variant in 2021 and a battery-electric utility vehicle in 2022.
And with that, the company that once led Enzo Ferrari towards becoming a carmaker and the brand which we love for its sporty coupés, enjoyable sedans, and fun convertibles threatens to become yet another premium crossover factory. A better fate than Lancia’s? Perhaps, but that’s not saying much.