Alfa may share its rwd platform

Alfa Romeo's Stelvio isbuilt on the Giorgio platform.

LOS ANGELES -- Alfa Romeo's new rear-wheel-drive platform underpinning the Giulia sedan and Stelvio crossover is likely to be used on other Fiat Chrysler Automobiles vehicles, the brand's head has said.

The Giorgio platform was designed as an exclusive Alfa Romeo platform to help the underperforming Italian luxury brand better compete with the likes of BMW. However, Reid Bigland told journalists last week at the sidelines of the auto show here that it was too good to restrict to Alfa.

"Modifying that platform to spawn additional FCA products is a possibility," he said. "We've got a jewel here. In terms of driving dynamics, it's best in class, so it's going to be difficult to keep that exclusive for Alfa Romeo."

He said the platform could be adapted for brands with pricing higher and lower than Alfa. He declined to give examples, but possibilities include performance cars for Dodge or new Maserati vehicles. He said the platform would remain rwd with the option to make it four-wheel drive.

Alfa Romeo said it spent 1 billion euros (Cdn $1.43 billion) developing the platform, which it said would underpin eight models ranging from a compact hatchback to a large sedan. 

In November, an internal FCA source and one source at an FCA supplier, told Automotive News, the Dodge Challenger coupe and Dodge Charger and Chrysler 300 sedans won't be redesigned onto the automaker's new Giorgio platform until the 2021 model year, when FCA is likely to discontinue production of one of the large sedans. All of them are currently built at the company's Brampton factory.

It will spend "many more billions" to develop the rest of the range, FCA's chief technical officer, Harald Wester, said at the launch of the Giulia this year.

The Giulia has received high praise in the automotive media for its handling abilities since its launch in the U.S. this year. The Stelvio will launch in the second quarter of next year and will be available with a 505-hp V-6 and a 280-hp 2.0-litre inline-four turbo.

You can reach Nick Gibbs at ngibbs@crain.com

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