Alfa Romeo small SUV still awaiting approval - report

Fiat and Jeep will have new small SUVs by 2023 but a new, entry-level Alfa Romeo crossover still hasn't been locked in.

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William Stopford
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Stellantis will reportedly begin production of the smallest Jeep crossover yet in 2022, though its Alfa Romeo cousin is still awaiting approval.

Automotive News Europe reports production of Jeep’s sub-Renegade SUV will begin in November 2022 in Stellantis’ Tychy, Poland plant, with European sales expected to begin in early 2023.

A small SUV for the Fiat brand will reportedly follow in April 2023, but no date has been locked in for its Alfa Romeo counterpart.

Previous reports had indicated a small SUV for Alfa Romeo, likely wearing the Brennero nameplate, would begin production in January 2023, after the Jeep (originally set for July 2022) but before the Fiat (July 2023).

It isn’t clear why the Alfa Romeo SUV is still awaiting approval.

Stellantis documents given to suppliers and viewed by Automotive News Europe confirm the company wants to build 300,000 vehicles annually at Tychy when it’s running at full capacity.

That comprises 130,000 Fiat crossovers, 110,000 Jeeps and 60,000 Alfa Romeos.

Dr. Janusz Michalek, president of the Katowice Special Economic Zone SA, confirmed these will be new products and not models already produced in other FCA factories.

While we don’t yet know what the Jeep and Alfa Romeo models will look like, Automotive News Europe reports the Fiat will resemble the Centoventi concept from the 2019 Geneva motor show.

When the Brennero and the related Jeep and Fiat SUVs enter production, they’ll join a sprawling line-up of vehicles in using the Common Modular Platform (CMP) developed by PSA prior to its merger with Fiat Chrysler Automobiles.

Like the Opel/Vauxhall Mokka, DS3 Crossback and Peugeot 2008 crossovers on the CMP platform, the new crossovers will offer all-electric versions.

The electric Jeep will enter production in February 2023 with a front-wheel drive mild-hybrid following in January 2024, while the Fiat EV and mild-hybrid will enter production in May 2023 and February 2024, respectively.

Batteries will initially be sourced from Chinese supplier CATL, before switching to another Chinese company, BYD.

The Alfa Romeo was set to begin production solely in all-electric guise, with a mild-hybrid following in March 2024 and a dual-motor all-wheel drive version in July 2024.

The news follows reports Alfa Romeo has delayed its Tonale small SUV, which now isn’t expected to debut until 2022.

The Tonale has reportedly been delayed as new Alfa Romeo boss Jean-Philippe Imparato has requested improved performance from the crossover’s plug-in hybrid drivetrain.

It was first revealed in concept form in 2019 and leaked later that year in what appeared to be production spec.

The Tonale and Brennero will indirectly replace the Giulietta, of which production ended in December 2020 and a final edition is now on sale.

Its smaller MiTo sibling, based on the old Fiat Punto platform, ended production in 2018. Until the new crossovers arrive, the BMW 3 Series-rivalling Giulia will serve as Alfa Romeo’s cheapest model.

While Alfa Romeo will have no product in the light/small SUV segments for at least another 18 months, Jeep already offers two small SUVs in the Compass and Renegade.

Both of these models are now available in all-wheel drive, plug-in hybrid 4xe variants in Europe.

Stellantis already confirmed it’s investing over 755 million Polish Zloty (A$262.9 million) in refurbishing its Polish factory and expecting to build 400,000 vehicles there each year.

The plant currently produces the Abarth 595, Fiat 500 (not the new, all-electric model) and the Lancia Ypsilon.

It isn’t clear what will happen to those vehicles.

Fiat has previously said it’ll continue to offer the internal combustion engine-powered 500 alongside the new all-electric model for an unspecified time, while Stellantis has confirmed Lancia is in line to finally receive new product.

Jointly-developed models for Stellantis’ ‘Premium’ brands – Alfa Romeo, DS and Lancia – are due by 2025.

The new Alfa, Fiat and Jeep small SUVs are important as this segment is now Europe’s second most popular, after the small car segment.

The Renault Captur was the best-selling model in the segment last year with 177,556 sales, followed by the Volkswagen T-Roc (158,776) and Peugeot 2008 (156,150).


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