Trade publication Automotive News has reported that Alfa Romeo will launch its first SUV next year. A few weeks ago MotorWeek attended the launch of the Giulia sedan, which sources say the SUV will be based on.  The European launch is said to be in September or October of 2016 with a U.S. launch following about three months later.

Sergio Marchionne, CEO of Alfa's parent Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, said the new 5-door model will go into production after the 4-door Giulia sometime in 2016.

Marchionne recently told financial analysts that "all the preparation work is done. Alfa’s plan is progressing as we told you it will go." At that time Marchionne did not say what type of vehicle the second model would be, but supplier sources now say it will be a midsize SUV, code-named project 949.

Marchionne said Alfa Romeo has already spent almost 2 billion euros of the 5 billion euros allocated by Fiat Chrysler for the brand’s revival. The money has been used to develop the Giorgio rear-wheel-drive platform used by the Giulia, as well as its powertrains and on production startup costs.

“We are taking a very hard look at the sequencing of the products that we are launching to make sure that we get the biggest bang for the buck from the utilization of the architecture in terms of volumes,” he said.

The new Alfa Romeo sport utility will go up against the Audi Q5 and BMW X3.