Alfa Romeo to revive GTV as an EV in sweeping range renewal

29 June 2021 - autocar

Alfa Romeo to revive GTV as an EV in sweeping range renewal

Electric coupé to top a potential line-up of three SUVs, saloon, supermini and Spider

Alfa Romeo is plotting a revival of the GTV as an electric four-door coupé flagship under a sweeping revival plan that will include a major revamp of its model line-up, Autocar has learned.

Seen as a technological flagship for Alfa Romeo’s future line-up, the modernday GTV is one of a number of proposed new models being considered by the Italian brand’s new CEO, Jean-Philippe Imparato, to spearhead its embracing of electrification and other key technologies.

“There’s no announcement at this stage, but [in] the GTV I’m very interested,” said Imparato, the former Peugeot boss who took control of Alfa Romeo in January.

Autocar has been told that proposals for the revival of the GTV extend from a retro-inspired two-door coupé to a contemporary four-door coupé in the mould of the BMW 4 Series Gran Coupé, with both electrified combustion engine and pure-electric drivetrains possible.

There’s no clear indication yet as to the direction it will take, but planning documents referenced by Alfa Romeo insiders suggest that it could be targeted at the Tesla Model 3 and newly unveiled BMW i4 electric saloons.

The GTV name has been used by a number of different Alfa Romeo coupé models over the years, most recently for a two-door 2+2 sold between 1995 and 2005.

Under an earlier strategy, the GTV name was planned to be revived for a two-door version of the Giulia saloon. However, despite being developed to production maturity, its introduction was cancelled earlier this year.

Imparato has some form for using retro designs to promote electric technology. During his time at Peugeot, he approved the much admired e-Legend concept, an electric coupé with muscle car styling inspired by the 504 Coupé. Although Peugeot ruled out a production version because it wouldn’t be commercially viable, Alfa Romeo’s more upmarket position could potentially justify a premium-priced electric coupé.

Major overhaul for the Alfa Romeo line-up

Alfa Romeo is one of 14 brands controlled by Stellantis, which was officially formed in January from the merger between Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) and the PSA Group.

Under Imparato, Alfa Romeo is preparing a groundup renewal of its line-up by the middle of the decade, with future models set to be based around all-new platforms and electrified drivetrains from Stellantis. The revamp is aimed at achieving greater economies of scale and profitability.

Imparato, who has established a 49-strong team of managers to steer the Alfa Romeo revival strategy, said that he believes it “has the potential to be the global premium brand of Stellantis”.

With Alfa Romeo’s sales on a dramatic decline and its existing two models, the Giulia and the Stelvio SUV, already in the latter half of their planned seven-year cycles, Imparato is looking towards a newly developed range of hybrid and pure-electric models to drive growth. That line-up will include successors to both the Giulia and the Stelvio.

Imparato’s plans are backed by Stellantis boss Carlos Tavares, who has pledged investment in Alfa Romeo for the next decade. “It will move to electrification,” Tavares said, “but in a dynamic way. Imparato is an Italian citizen and is driving the brand with passion and vision for what needs to be done.

By 2025, just one Alfa Romeo model, the upcoming Tonale compact SUV, will use an FCA-developed platform. The rest will be based around one of three passenger car platforms originally developed by the PSA Group and made available to Alfa Romeo by Stellantis, giving the Italian brand access to pure-electric drivetrains in all but one of its planned future models.

Development of the new Alfa Romeo line-up is being expedited in a process similar to that undertaken by Opel and Vauxhall after they were purchased from GM by PSA.

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