In 2016, Alfa Romeo will be making a comeback with its first foray into the sport utility market. The company’s new SUV, which is codenamed “project 949,” is a high-performance model that will rival renowned SUVs like Audi’s Q5, BMW’s X3, and Mercedes’ GLC.
Alfa Romeo’s plan to release an SUV has been brewing for years. In fact, the auto manufacturer had originally released concept drawings of the “Kamal” in 2003, but it was never produced. While the new SUV is scheduled to go into production sometime in 2016, the name and design of the model are currently being kept under wraps.
If you’re hoping to pursue an automotive career, read on to learn more about the Italian automaker, and find out what other big plans Alpha Romeo has in store for the next few years.
Alfa Romeo Introduces New Italian Auto Technology
Alpha Romeo was founded in Milan in 1906 by a French automotive firm and Italian investors. The company slowly began producing cars for the Italian market in 1909. By 1911, the carmaker ventured into motorsports and began competing with two 24-hp models before production was halted for three years during WWI.
Over the years, Alpha Romeo become more popular amongst European consumers, and was often referred to as a leader in auto technology. This is mainly because the automaker introduced technologies such as the double overhead cam engine and all-wheel disc brakes.
Any student pursuing a career in auto body repair will likely take note of Alpha Romeo’s sleek body designs. The auto manufacturer has commissioned some of the most prominent automotive design houses in Italy to produce various concept designs for its cars. Some of these companies include:
Alfa Romeo Automobiles in North America
In 1961, Alpha Romeo began importing cars to North America. And for years, the company’s 164 sedan was the only affordable Italian-made vehicle on the market. However in 1995, the automaker decided to withdraw from Canada and the U.S., due to an ongoing decrease in sales.
Alpha Romeo resumed sales in North America in 2008 with its 8C Competizione roadster. In 2013, the company’s sporty 4C model was also brought into the North American markets.
Automotive Releases Over the Next Three Years
Along with the SUV set for a mid-2016 release, the company will also launch the Giulia—a turbo-powered lightweight sedan. Car technical experts are predicting that this car will compete with the BMW M3.
Alpha Romeo’s upcoming SUV and Giulia models are only two of eight new models the company plans to release by 2018. The Italian automaker will also release two compacts, a crossover, another mid-size sedan, a full-size sedan, and a “specialty product” that’s rumored to be a supercar.
While it is unlikely that all of these models will make their way onto North American soil, the brand has set a goal to boost its sales over the next five years. This means we will definitely see a few of these models on our roads.
Here’s a look at the all-new Alpha Romeo Giulia, which is set to hit the market just before the SUV: