ALFA Romeo and Jeep are words hardly ever appearing in the same sentence, but news from Italia is that Alfa is planning another entry into the burgeoning SUV market with a smaller model, to be positioned below its illustrious Stelvio.
It has now emerged, however, that the compact crossover is not going to be a scaled-down Stelvio, but one based on the Jeep Compass.
Production will take place at Fiat-Chrysler’s Pomigliano plant.
Automotive News Europe says it forms part of FCA’s plan of moving production of lower-profit Fiat cars out of Italy and higher-margin models in.
But will the compact crossover still drive like an Alfa?
After all, Jeeps are not known as great roadholders among the pasta fraternity.
The Stelvio proved a pleasant surprise with its well-honed chassis and steering making it one of the better-driving crossovers out there, but then it is based on the Giulia’s rear-wheel-drive architecture.
Although it remains to be seen just how closely the as-yet-unnamed compact would be based on the Compass, it’s certainly not going to match its bigger brother for fleet-footedness unless Alfa’s whitecoats pull some miracle engineering out the bag.
And what about the rest of the small Alfa line-up?
According to the legendary brand’s 2018 to 2022 product plan that was revealed in June this year, the ill-fated Mito is falling away, while the Giulietta will get a long-overdue mid-life facelift.
The Stelvio and Giulia will also get a nip and tuck between now and 2022.
There is more exciting news on the horizon though, as Alfa Romeo plans to revive the GTV (as a Giulia-based two-door) and launch a new version of the 8C.