Alfa Romeo Subcompact Electric SUV Based on Jeep Avenger Due in 2024: Report
Alfa Romeo badly needs a volume seller, and Jeep might be about to give it one.
As a brand, Alfa Romeo trades on an Italian sense of design and passion. That's set to continue as it releases its first EV, in the form of a subcompact crossover allegedly due to hit some markets next year. The twist is that it's set to be based on a Jeep.
Update: 04/11/23 8:30 p.m. ET: The post has been updated regarding Alfa Romeo's response to The Drive.
According to reports from Autocar, the new subcompact SUV will be based on the same STLA Small platform as the Jeep Avenger. Current intelligence suggests it will name the wear Brennero, but there's still time for Alfa Romeo to come up with something better. It's expected to use the same drivetrain as the Jeep. That means a 54 kWh battery, along with a single electric motor driving the front wheels with 154 bhp and 192 lb-ft of torque. Range should be on the order of 250 miles.
Reports suggest there will also be a mild-hybrid version available in some markets. In any case, the hybrid would go away as Alfa Romeo goes EV only from 2027 onwards.
Notably, Autocar's reporting concerns the UK market. Whether such a model comes to the US is an open question. The Drive contacted Alfa Romeo regarding this story, with the automaker declining to comment.
Platform-sharing is a strategy designed to get the most value possible out of Alfa Romeo. Stellantis has already used this strategy before. It rebranded the Alfa Romeo Tonale as the Dodge Hornet, much to the chagrin of Alfa's executives. However, this time, it's probably likely that the Alfa Romeo product will get new sheet metal, rather than simply slapping a round badge on the front of the existing Jeep model.
Design-wise, the model will likely feature cues from the original Alfa Romeo Giulietta, according to hints from CEO Jean-Philippe Imparato. It's hoped the new model will help rebuild Alfa Romeo's sales, which have yet to recover to pre-pandemic levels. The company sold just over 30,000 cars in Europe in 2022, compared to 54,365 vehicles in 2019. It's been a long, slow decline for the company, which sold over 131,000 vehicles back in 2011.
Speaking on the brand's future last year, ex-UK boss Damien Dally told Autocar that Alfa Romeo was aiming to increase sales volumes. "We want to move from an emotional brand down to a rational one,” he said. The idea is to shift Alfa Romeo's image from being a fancy sporting brand to one that offers cars for everybody. It's a shame to change what makes Alfa unique, but the brand's exotic image isn't helping it make any sales.
It's no secret that Alfa Romeo has struggled in the 21st century. Repeated efforts to jump-start the brand have had limited success, and the brand now sells a fraction of the volume it once did. Whether a humble SUV built on a shared platform can revitalize the company remains to be seen. Enthusiasts will hope that the legendary Italian marque will flourish again, even if it takes some pedestrian models to pay the bills in the meantime.
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