Sitting above the Giulia sedan in the company’s line-up, the new 5 Series rival will likely share its rear-wheel-drive platform with its smaller sibling. Reports also point to a range of powertrains that would include a plug-in hybrid variant, the company’s first six-cylinder diesel, along with a range of four-cylinder turbo petrols and diesel’s also shared with the Giulia.
Speaking to Auto Express, Harald Wester, Fiat Chrysler’s (FCA’s) chief technology officer, said the large premium sedan will add to the list of eight upcoming models to be launched by the end of the decade.
“It will be a relatively fast sequence of relevant and saleable products like saloons and SUVs,” he said.
“We owe our investors a constant stream of new, fresh global products that can be sold.”
Above: 2017 Alfa Romeo Giulia QV
Auto Express also quotes Fabrizio Curci, boss of Alfa Romeo’s European arm, saying that electrification will also be rolled out around 2018 - possibly coinciding with the release of the larger sedan along with the Stelvio SUV.
“The platform is built to support whatever kind of electrification we do,” said Curci. “It can support everything from plug-in hybrid to full electric.”
Above: A prototype for the 2018 Alfa Romeo Stelvio SUV
Also supported by the company’s modular platform are four-wheel drive and semi-autonomous driving systems - which are likely to be offered with the new sedan.
FCA announced in 2014 that it would invest 5 billion euros ($7.7 million at the time) to revamp the Alfa Romeo line-up to rival German powerhouses Audi, BMW and Mercedes-Benz. The accompanying product timeline detailed eight new models by 2018, however this was recently revised to 2020, although no concrete details have been announced yet.
Before we see Alfa's 5 Series competitor, the Italian car maker will release the Stelvio SUV.
Riding on the same platform as the closely-related Giulia, the Stelvio will be joined later by the large sedan and then a smaller SUV - rumoured to be called the Kamal.
Above: 2003 Alfa Romeo Kamal concept
Curci added: “We are thinking of how to do a special version [of the 4C], but not a Cloverleaf [QV]. We are thinking of what to do, but it won’t change the DNA - a different look and feel, maybe”.
Although a 2018 release is mooted, it’s possible the new sedan could be pushed back closer to 2020 if the Giulia's release is anything to go by.