Speaking with industry journal Automotive News Europe this week, Marchionne said that “all preparation work” on the first of two new SUVs is complete.
"Alfa’s plan is progressing as we told you it will go," he said, referring to the company’s five-year business plan revealed in May last year.
That strategy calls for the introduction of a new mid-sized SUV to be introduced in the middle of 2016, with a larger model to follow sometime in 2018.
Full details on the new SUV are still to come, although it is understood that it will ride on the same rear-wheel-drive platform that underpins the new Giulia sedan.
Styling will likely follow the lead taken by the Giulia, with a curvaceous sports-styled profile, a familiar Alfa face centred on that iconic shield grille, and a set of sharp tail lamps at the rear.
Alfa’s last punt on an SUV occurred in 2003, with the unveiling of the Kamal concept (pictured here in photos and sketches). An ongoing run of strategy changes within the Alfa Romeo business meant that the Kamal never progressed to production.
Watch for the new Alfa Romeo SUV to debut at either the Geneva motor show in March, or the Paris motor show in October.