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LA MOTOR SHOW

Q&A R EID BIGL A ND, HE A D OF A LFA Modern car manufacture is all about platform sharing. Who shares the Giorgio platform you use for the Giulia and Stelvio? “For the time being, we don’t share with anyone. We believe we have a gem in this platform. It’s a genuine premium component, not a mainstream piece dressed up, like many others. In the longer term, it may be difficult to keep it exclusively. We may share it with another FCA [Fiat Chrysler Automobiles] product. But for now, it’s ours and we’re proud to have it.” You calculate the Stelvio will be faster than any other SUV at the Nürburgring. When will you prove it? “We’ve only just finished demonstrating what the Giulia can do, and we could probably go quicker still with that on the right tyres. So we’ll have to look at it. But it’s definitely in our DNA.” What’s your sales breakdown for the three forthcoming Stelvio models? “We’re not giving out numbers. If you ask me how many I’d Iike to sell, I’ll just say as many as possible. But I’m not out to win any sales competition. We just know that if we deliver the right products, the sales will take care of themselves.” What about pricing? “We’ll need to compete with the likes of Audi, BMW and Mercedes. One day, we might even be able to command a premium, but not yet.”

Quadrifoglio has a twin-turbo 2.9-litre V6, bespoke exterior design features and an eight-speed auto ’box

Do you believe the Stelvio could outsell the Giulia? “When production settles down, yes, it could. But you

must remember that even the Giulia’s market is just about the strongest for cars in North America. We’ve got to get that established first.” You’ve said the Stelvio Quadrifoglio is the antithesis of the autonomous car movement. What do you mean by that? “Look, a level of autonomy has arrived in all cars and we’ll be no different. Same goes for electrification. We’re all going to need a degree of electrification just to meet our targets. But we’re all for driver input and driver enjoyment. If there is a threat to self-driving in the future, brands like Ferrari, Maserati and Alfa Romeo are not threatened at all. They’ll be insulated.” You’ve talked about eight new models besides this one by 2022. Are there smaller SUV models in the mix? “I’m not going to start talking future product, but if consumer preference gravitates to SUVs in all shapes and sizes, we’ll be in there. The move to SUVs has been enormous. In 2017, Maserati’s Levante SUV will account for 50% of its total sales. Who’d have believed that a few years ago?”

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