Alfa confirms supercoupe... and surprises with supercar plan

Mid-engined 8c, GTV supercoupe to form the core of Alfa Romeo's revival over the next five years

Alfa Romeo Supercar Teased 11 Jpg
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ALFA Romeo's Giulia-based supercoupe is go. To be called GTV, the four-seater will deliver an electric-boosted 450kW through all four wheels. Alfa's teaser image shows a sleek, two-door shape.

The legendary Italian brand's head, Tim Kuniskis, confirmed the rumoured car would go into production during Fiat Chrysler Automobiles' presentation to investors of its grand, now-to-2022 plan in Italy last Friday. Aside from the name, the GTV wasn't a complete surprise. But what came next was...

Kuniskis has revealed Alfa Romeo also aims to produce an all-new mid-engine supercar in the same timeframe. The car will resurrect the 8C nameplate.

2006 Alfa Romeo 8c
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Above: 2006 Alfa Romeo 8c

With a carbonfibre monocoque body and mid-mounted twin-turbo engine, the Alfa looks set to be a McLaren rival. But its electric front axle drive system adds a touch of BMW i8-style tech.

A combined power output of above 500kW is promised for the 8C, along with a sub-3.0 second 0-100km/h time. Kuniskis didn't specify whether the engine would be a V8 or not, but the car's name points in that direction.

While there was no mention of launch timing for either car, the GTV project is obviously more advanced than the 8C. The coupe, after all, is based on an existing architecture. The 8C, on the other hand, is a clean-sheet design.

2003 Alfa Romeo Gtv Jpg
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Above: 2003 Alfa Romeo GTV

The GTV and 8C will provide the halo for an Alfa Romeo range that will grow over the next five years. The brand aims to add two new SUVs, one smaller than the Stelvio, another larger. Long-wheelbase versions of the Giulia and Stelvio for China, now the world's biggest premium-brand market, are planned. The Giulietta hatch will be replaced or updated, while the awful Fiat Punto-based Mito will be killed. The flawed 4C Coupe and Spider will also disappear, to make way for the GTV and 8C.

FCA plans to eliminate diesels in its passenger vehicles by 2021, though they will live on in the light commercial vehicles produced by Fiat Professional and Ram. This means all the new Alfas will have petrol engines or plug-in petrol-electric hybrid drivetrains.

Relying heavily on tapping rapid growth in the Chinese market, Alfa is aiming for 400,000 global sales by 2022. Is this believable? After all, four years ago Alfa was saying it would be selling 400,000 cars a year by 2018. The actual number this year will be around 170,000. While a huge increase over the brand's dismal 62,000 global sales total of 2015, this is miles shy of the target.

FCA head Sergio Marchionne acknowledges that the 2014 objectives were too ambitious, but says Alfa is now on the way to success. "Something of importance was accomplished," he insists. "Did we do it right? The answer is 'No'

"At the end of the day the benefit will come. I think it's already visible..."

 

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