Alfa is finally settling on its SUV crossover plan. If you’ve a very long memory, you’ll recall the 2003 concept, the Kamal. It was conceived as a sporty baby crossover, smaller than a BMW X3. After a period in the wilderness, it’s back on track.
See, in about 2005 Alfa got fixated on the US market and on the BMW X5 (the Alfa boss at the time was ex-BMW man Karl-Heinz Kalbfell). So the Kamal grew in size, weight and complexity. Then costs got out of control. So then it stalled. But now it’s back, to be launched eight years after the show car.
These days SUVs really mustn’t be fat. So the Kamal has been replanned to its original dinky size, albeit with updated looks. It will sit on the platform for the 149, the 147’s replacement.
It’ll be 4.6m long, about the same as a Honda CR-V, though its design will be swoopier. It’s not meant as a family car. Top-selling engines will be diesels, up to 200+ horsepower. Petrols will get a new active valve-lift system. And for the Americans, who are still a target, there will be a V6. Dual clutch transmission is also on the menu.
You’ve just got to hope Alfa keeps the weight under control. It hasn’t been very good at that these past years.
But more than that, does the world actually need yet another pseudo-SUV compact crossover? Answers in the comments box below please.