Alfa Romeo to launch 1000hp Giulia QV, SUVs and supercar

Published: 24 February 2023

► Giulia reborn in 2025, says Alfa boss
► 1000hp Quadrifgolio and 435-mile range
► Supercar decision due April 2023

Alfa Romeo is readying a wave of high-end products, including a D-segment saloon and SUV, flagship E-segment SUV and a new supercar, part-funded by the brand doubling its profitability in 2022. 

The Giulia saloon is set to be replaced in 2025, and it will be Alfa’s first electric-only model. ‘I will come to North America in 2025 with a 100 per cent [electric] D-segment offer,’ said brand CEO Jean-Philippe Imparato.

Alfa Romeo CEO Jean-Philippe Imparato

Imparato has vowed to deliver a no-compromise vehicle, with an 800-volt architecture (like a Porsche Taycan) for quick recharging and 700km (435 miles) of range in the high-performance Quadrifolgio version. To reduce charging downtime, Alfa is set to go first with an aerodynamic saloon-type body rather than an SUV.

‘Giulia is [coming] back!’ said the CEO. ‘We have to design the Giulia we love, an Alfa Romeo we all want, and [design director] Alejandro Mesonero-Romanos is on it. And we will come back to you with something that is very cool.’ [Our image is an artist’s impression by Avarvarii.]

And 1000 horsepower Giulia Quadrifoglio is coming

‘It will have range, and from 350hp to 800hp as a Veloce, and 1000hp as a Quadrifoglio.’ The car is based on the Stellantis group’s stepchange electric car architecture, STLA, which can package its motors for front, rear and all-wheel drive. Expect the base car to be rear-drive, while the punchier cars will split power across both axles.  

Alfa is only selling the Tonale as a plug-in hybrid in North America to build its electric credentials, and the new Giulia will double down on that. The boss promises that Alfa EVs such as the Giulia will be a no-compromise substitution for a petrol car, not hamstrung by range and refuelling issues.  

That doesn’t mean an SUV won’t follow: indeed the Stelvio, the Giulia’s sister SUV, is odds-on for a 2026 introduction. And 2027 should see Alfa push into the E-segment, important for Chinese and American customers, most likely with a flagship SUV. 

‘In 2027, we jump up on the E-segment that will be frozen in terms of intention and design by the end of 2023. But it is completely locked and funded in the company,’ said the former Peugeot CEO.

Decision on new supercar due in April 2023

Alfa Romeo is showing its low-volume supercar to clients and taking deposits, ahead of a decision being taken to green light it in April. If it gets the go-ahead, the car will be shown in 2023. 

‘We are working on something you could put beside the 8C in our Arese museum,’ said Imparato. ‘Regardless, the car will be sold out before I unveil it, that’s absolutely sure. So if I don’t make it, I’ll have to give back the downpayments!’

Car was first to reveal Alfa’s intent to unleash a new supercar a year ago; our artist’s impression is above and you can read the full story here. It’s tipped to be inspired by the gorgeous, V8-powered 33 Stradale from 1967; there’s no certainty whether the drivetrain will be combustion or electric at this stage. It could well be called 6C, according to a recent Alfa social media hint.

Alfa’s product plan: the next five years

Jean-Philippe Imparato’s candour helps us build the clearest product plan yet for Alfa Romeo over the next five years, as follows:

• 2023 – Tonale plug-in hybrid rolled out
• 2023 – Giulia and Stelvio refreshes
• 2023 – Supercar that’s a modern take on 33 Stradale

• 2024 – baby SUV with mild hybrid and pure EV, filling gap left by Mito supermini 

• 2025 – Electric Guilia replacement (D-segment saloon)

• 2026 – Electric Stelvio replacement

• 2027 – flagship electric SUV (E-segment)

Alfa Romeo financial results: doubled profitability year-on-year

Imparato and his small team took Alfa from loss to profit in 2021. And the boss confirmed that Alfa had doubled its profitability in 2022 compared with the previous year, though without giving figures: Stellantis group doesn’t break out results for most individual brands.

‘Alfa Romeo contributes with a profit per unit which is at the height of the premium market,’ said Imparato. That may be so, but the brand’s volumes remain small. European sales grew by 23.7 per cent, but from a modest 26,465 to 32,737 units. Reports say US sales were less than 13,000 units in 2022.

Mitigating factors were that Tonale crossover (above) didn’t arrive on the European market until last summer, with the plug-in hybrid version lagging behind. US cars don’t land until spring 2024. ‘Beginning 2023, we have an order book that is more-or-less six times what I had at the end of December 2021. So 2023 could be a year where we shoot for [volume growth] around 30 per cent.’ 

The 2022 financial performance was built on maintaining pricing on Stelvio and Giulia to bank the foreign exchange effect of the strong dollar, setting up ‘war rooms’ at its factories to get cars out and keep costs down despite inflationary pressures, and then Tonale revenues gave the P&L a boost towards the end of the year.

Latest on baby SUV beneath Tonale

Alfa’s next volume car is due to be commercialised in June 2024, and it’s a small SUV with pure electric and mild-hybrid petrol power. It shares its platform with the new Jeep Avenger, Europe’s Car of the Year, and the DS 3 among other Stellantis vehicles. 

Prototypes will begin testing extensively later this year, and Imparato says the engineering team is focusing on the e-CMP platform’s rigidity, handling and weight distribution in a bid to get an agile driving experience from a platform that is yet to sire a notably dynamic model. 

‘We have the design codes, the right lighting, and I would say the right connection with the past,’ said Imparato. ‘If you are an owner of a Mito or Giulietta just wait, I am coming!’ The small-SUV will be the first volume car designed by Alejandro Mesonero-Romanos; our artist’s impression by Avarvarii predicts what it might look like.

And what’s next for Alfa Romeo in motorsport?

The new Formula 1 season kicks off on 5 March in Bahrain, and it’s going to be Alfa Romeo’s last sponsoring the Sauber team. Does Imparato plan to keep Alfa in motorsport?

‘I would like to select the motorsport discipline that is consistent with my DNA. And there are two, Formula 1 and endurance racing. 

‘I will take the decision before the end of June 2023. Because if I want to be on the track in early 2025 I must take a decision, because you need two years to develop something in the motorsports field.’

Cost will naturally be a huge factor: although F1’s awareness is mushrooming, particularly in America, and so is the return on investment (‘thanks to Stefano Domenicali [F1 CEO] for this, chapeau!’ quipped Imparato), but the Alfa chief is quick to point out the perfect economic storm caused by the Ukraine war, inflation, strikes and interest rates will also influence his decision.

By Phil McNamara

Group editor, CAR magazine