According to a report issued by Automotive News Europe, Alfa Romeo will launch an SUV as early as next year.

According to a report issued by Automotive News Europe, Alfa Romeo will launch an SUV as early as next year.

Codenamed "Project 949", the high-riding Alfa Romeo will have just about the same size as the Audi Q5 and will ride on the rear-wheel drive Giorgio platform developed by Maserati which will debut later this year with the mid-size "Giulia" sedan serving as a 159 replacement. Production of both models will likely take place at Alfa's Cassino factory near Rome, Italy.

Other details are limited at the moment, but the same report mentions Alfa Romeo will offer the SUV with a newly developed high-powered V6 diesel engine which will be a part of the company's new high-end motor lineup.

The Giulia mid-size sedan along with the SUV are only two of the eight models Alfa Romeo will launch by 2018 when they want annual sales to hit 400,000 cars, fueled also by an expansion in China and North America.

Note: 2003 Alfa Romeo Kamal concept pictured.

Alfa Romeo SUV rumored for a 2016 launch