Alfa Romeo has confirmed that it has turned its back on sports cars as it shifts towards producing more SUV models with the announcement that the 4C has been pulled from production.
Following the announcement last week that plans for a resurrection of the GTV and 8C lines were in the bin – a financial decision revealed shortly after Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) and Peugeot S.A. (PSA) announced plans of a proposed merger – the 4C’s six-year production run has finally come to an end.
With the 4C coupé already taken off-market in the United States (the ‘vert still soldiered on until now) it was only a matter of time until this decision was made. However, if you still want one, Alfa dealers will still be selling out old stock until it’s all gone, so now is your last chance there.
With all of the marque’s sports car plans now firmly down the drain, the focus for the Italian brand best known for its sports cars now turns to SUVs. And accompanying that announcement is the sound of myself and every other enthusiast out there letting out an almighty sigh.
As the Stelvio has now become the company’s bread-and-butter model, two smaller SUVs are now planned to slot below it, the first of which is the Tonale, pictured above.
Pitched as a rival to C-UVs such as the BMW X1 and Audi Q3, it’s set to arrive in 2021 and offer both straight petrol and plug-in petrol-electric hybrid drivetrains, and will feature a noticeably upgraded interior with larger 10.2-inch infotainment and 12.3-inch driver information screens.
In addition to the Tonale, a smaller, yet-to-be-named B-UV will slot below that to take on the likes of the Audi Q2 and Lexus UX. Slated for a 2022 launch, it’s set to offer both ICE and fully-electric drivetrains, although it’s not clear whether it (or the Tonale) will be built on existing FCA platforms such as the company’s Small Wide 4×4 platform in models like the Jeep Renegade, or if a new platform will be developed for these electrified models.
What is known, however, is that the end of 4C production at the Modena factory that also produces the Maserati GranTurismo will make way for the company’s EV production that will see this plant retooled.
But with these plans not set to come into effect for a couple of years, where does that leave Alfa now? Well, just three models will sit in its showrooms once 4C stocks are depleted – the Giulia sedan, the Stelvio SUV, and the decade-old Giulietta that is likely headed the way of the 4C before long.