Motoring’s biggest story right now is the merger of French car giant PSA Group and Italian-American behemoths Fiat Chrysler.
With terms agreed for a 50/50 merger to create one of the world’s biggest motoring firms, the likes of Peugeot, Citroen, Fiat, Maserati, Abarth and DS among others are all about to sit under the same giant umbrella.
That gives us huge scope for potential new models and interesting technological crossovers (of the sharing kind, not the pseudo-SUV, though those are likely too). We’ve come up with some cars we’d like to see from the new French-American-Italian alliance…
Abarth’s 1.4-litre engine is one of the greatest things to come from FCA, and using that as the basis of Peugeot’s next hot hatch is an idea we can get behind.
The new 208 has immediately made an impact for its impressive looks, while early reviews say it has the chassis to cope with a lot more grunt. The perfect candidate for an Abarth makeover, Monza exhaust and all.
Alfa Romeo Giulia Hybrid4
Alfa Romeo has arguably the best looking saloon on the market in the Giulia, though it lacks on powertrain choice when compared with key competitors like the BMW 3 Series, Mercedes C-Class and Audi A4.
That could quickly be rectified with access to PSA’s huge selection of powertrains, with its new Hybrid4 plug-in setup a strong contender. It pairs a 1.6-litre four-cylinder petrol engine with a 13.2kWh electric motor, in total producing 296bhp and offering 32 miles of EV-only driving. Potent and efficient, what more can you ask for?
Alfa Romeo MiTo electric
With the supermini market ever-more competitive, the Alfa Romeo MiTo would likely struggle to make an impact on the market if FCA alone gave the model a second generation.
PSA has two strong contenders in the market in its portfolio — the Vauxhall Corsa and Peugeot 208 — so draping those cars’ impressive underpinnings in a glorious Alfa Romeo design would surely be a hit. For extra kudos, an all-electric variant using the French giant’s tech would give it all the components for success.
RAM 1500 Aircross
FCA’s literally largest offerings come from RAM, which produces a range of trucks that are incredibly popular in the American market. We’re not saying these trucks aren’t already comfortable, but PSA could certainly add to it.
You see, the French firm currently has no market presence in the US — so the country hasn’t experienced the comforts of Citroen’s squishy Aircross models. We think taking the soft, yet well-judged suspension setup and extra comfy seats from the C5 Aircross and sticking them into a big RAM truck would be a great introduction.
Vauxhall Insignia Hellcat
If there’s one thing the Americans do particularly well, it’s putting massive, high horsepower engines into unassuming vehicles to create unlikely rivals for supercars… in a straight line at least.
This is perhaps best epitomised by the Hellcat series built by Dodge, which utilise a 707bhp V8 for truly tyre-shredding performance. This would prove perfect for Vauxhall to spice up its rather mundane range, giving the Insignia rep-mobile some much-needed fire under its bonnet.
Peugeot 5008 Quadrifoglio
Alfa Romeo might not be best known for its reliability, but if there’s one thing it does really well it’s making cars that driving enthusiasts love to get behind the wheel of. The Quadrifoglio versions of its Giulia saloon and Stelvio SUV are considered up there with the best in their segment.
Despite looking great, though, the same can’t necessarily be said of Peugeot’s bigger cars. They’re some of the most stylish in the business but could do with a little more excitement. The 5008 would be a great match for Alfa’s performance platform – perfect for those families whose kids always make them late on the school run.
DS 7 GranLusso
Maserati is FCA’s luxury group, making it the perfect match for DS, which does the same job for PSA. Except, DS is probably more premium than luxury, so Maserati’s luxury-focused GranLusso trim would push the DS 7 Crossback into a whole new, more expensive segment.
The SUV would remain largely the same, but get more plush materials inside, bigger, sexier alloy wheels, and clever technology such as soft-closing doors.
New Fiat Punto
One of the key advantages for FCA Group is that it’ll have access to tried and tested vehicle platforms and powertrains across a wide range of mainstream vehicles that would allow it to expand its range without too much research and development.
Fiat could benefit hugely from this because its range currently consists of a million varieties of 500, a few Pandas and the Tipo. With the Peugeot 208 and Vauxhall Corsa platforms, Fiat could reintroduce the popular Punto.