Alfa Romeo’s next SUV could be based on the Jeep Compass.

A report in Automotive News suggests that Fiat Chrysler Automobiles will expand its range with cost-effective platform-sharing plans within its Italian factories.

The respected outlet says the Jeep Compass will be the basis for a new compact Alfa Romeo SUV to sit under the mid-size Stelvio, giving the Italian brand a rival to the likes of BMW’s X2.

Unlike the Stelvio (pictured), which is based on architecture shared with the Giulia sports sedan, the new model will have humbler underpinnings. Then again, traditionally rear-drive brands BMW and Mercedes sell compact crossovers with front-drive architecture, so Alfas Jeep-based machine might sit comfortably among similar machines.

Plans originally drafted by the late Sergio Marchionne could result in a Maserati spin-off based on Alfa’s Stelvio, as well as electrified versions of the Fiat 500 range.

The Italian brand is also planning a larger SUV to sit above the Stelvio, to give it a rival to the likes of the BMW X5 and Audi Q7.

Flagging sales of FCA models in Europe have put the manufacturer under pressure to maintain production - and jobs - at its Italian factories.

In Australia, FCA is having a mixed year with sales of Fiat and Jeep models down by 42.5 per cent and 8 per cent for the year to date, though Alfa Romeo is up by 26 per cent (thanks to the introduction of the Stelvio) and Chrysler is holding steady (anchored by a NSW Police contract).

Source: Drive

December 4, 2018