LAficionados of double overhead camshafts and revs pushed into the red zone will have to make up their minds, the new Alfa Romeo will evolve in the green zone, without much originality in this world of compromises imposed by Brussels. The question is: how else to escape this regulatory straitjacket? Alfa Romeo, entered into the bosom of the Stellantis group and managed for a year by an ex-Peugeot, Jean-Philippe Imparato, has obviously not found the solution.
No more original than its rivals, Alfa Romeo pours into the common pot of the SUV, in compact mode this time to serve as a stepping stone for the Stelvio. This one has been rolling for five years but is 15 cm longer than the Tonale, stalled at 4.53 m in the mid-range. It is also less high from 7 cm to 1.60 m and takes up the aesthetic codes dear to the brand. The telephone dial rims, the grille housing six square headlights or the rear window vaguely inspired by the 8C Competizione try to attenuate this higher-pitched volume, supposed to attract modern families.
Inside, the Alfa Romeo codes are fairly well respected around a 10.25-inch infotainment touchscreen with all the perfect connections and updates made in the Cloud. The instruments grouped behind the three-spoke steering wheel on a 12.3-inch screen can be configured according to three presentations, including a retro one with the graphics of the needle dials. Recycled materials have been used – still a fashion – to respect a presentation inspired by the sports seats of the front. To revive the virus, Super and Ti finishes and Veloce pack will give this dish the much appreciated transalpine aroma.
Electricity on all floors
But lifting the hood reveals a whole new world of technology showing that times are changing. If, and this is a surprise, a 1.6-litre 130 hp diesel associated with a 6-speed TCT dual-clutch transmission is indeed on the program, it is rather the injection of a good dose of electricity. what to expect. A mild hybridization 48 Volts first to support the 4-cylinder turbo Miller cycle lean burn enabled by a high compression ratio of 12.5: 1.
Another helping hand, after the electric start-up, a variable geometry turbo will take over to provide 130 or 160 horsepower. In the latter case, the electric motor has 15 kW and 55 Nm and replaces the entry-level alternator-starter. Alfa Romeo has reworked this group a lot with in particular a high engine with dual variable valve timing, special intake ducts, a high pressure direct injection system and combines it with a 7-speed TCT dual-clutch gearbox. .
Finally, Peugeot inspires a hybrid four-wheel-drive solution for the Q4 with a 4-cylinder Multiair at the front and an electric motor on the rear axle which only intervenes occasionally. When it is operational, it will provide the extra power to reach 275 hp but obviously, much less when the battery is 15.5 kWh empty. In forced electric operation, it could last 60 km according to the official cycle and 80 km in the city. An all-electric version will arrive in 2024 using common Stellantis resources.