Alfa Romeo plans SUV for 2012

Details of the new SUV, codenamed C-SUV by the Italian manufacturer, are scarce, but AutoCar is reporting it will be based on an extended version of the platform used for the Alfa Romeo Giulietta hatchback.

The SUV is a popular market at the moment, with manufacturers such as Renault, Mazda and Seat all revealing concept cars in 2011 previewing possible new entries to the sector.

Fiat, owners of Alfa Romeo, would place the new C-SUV up against the likes of BMW and Audi as it looks to move the brand more upmarket.

This began with the three-door Alfa Romeo MiTo supermini in 2009 and was followed by the Giulietta hatchback last year.

Any future SUV is expected to feature the same styling cues seen on these two cars, but it is expected to benefit from sister brand Jeep’s SUV technology.

In keeping with the Alfa Romeo tradition, any SUV is expected to be sporty and Alfa is expected to focus on the driving dynamics of the new model.

AutoCar is speculating that the new SUV would boast a 200bhp petrol engine and a 140bhp 2.0-litre diesel, although the 273bhp 3.3-litre V6 petrol engine could also be used alongside a 3.0-litre V6 diesel to top off the choices.

Alfa Romeo is reportedly the target of a buyout by German-based Volkswagen, but so far Fiat CEO Sergio Marchionne has rejected claims Fiat is looking to sell the brand.

Instead, he will focus on the launch of the new SUV and the forthcoming 4C sports car, whose concept wowed crowds at the recent Geneva Motor Show thanks to its sporty styling.