Right now is arguably the most interesting time in motoring, as the pivot towards electrification and autonomy causes all manner of chaos among mainstream manufacturers.
One of the most curious sub-plots is what’s happening to Ferrari, Lamborghini, and Alfa Romeo. All three have relied on the lineage of their internal combustion engines for quite some time; a move now under threat by the European Union’s decision to ban the sale of new ICE vehicles in 2035.
There’s been a push from the Italian government to protect Ferrari and Lamborghini by making their low-volume supercars exempt from the ban, something that Porsche has spoken out against.
Over at Alfa Romeo, meanwhile, the brand is tipped to debut a raft of electrified platforms by the middle of the decade, with rumours suggesting many of these will be sourced from other Stellantis manufacturers. It’s expected that all of the brand’s models will be based on a new plug-in platform by the mid-2020s.
This will be a challenging transition for Alfa Romeo, given the brand’s focus on evocative traditional powertrains. But, it seems that the brand isn’t ready to shed its reputation just yet, judging by a quote from its CEO Jean-Philippe Imparato.
Speaking to French outlet Caradisiac, Imparato is adamant the brand won’t follow the same tech tropes as some of its peers. “Alfa Romeo has a particular [market] position,” he said. “The driver at the center, the fewest screens possible. I’m not selling an iPad with a car around it, I’m selling an Alfa Romeo.”
All of Alfa Romeo’s peers have more or less committed to screens; the perceived antithesis of driving thrills (depending on who you talk to). Mercedes-Benz, for example, is slowly rolling out its incredible ‘Hyperscreen’ across both its EQS and EQE models, with most expecting it to follow suit on other upcoming new releases.
Imparato, a recent signing for the marque and the former boss of Peugeot, has drafted a 49-person-strong group of managers to direct Alfa Romeo’s revival strategy, according to Autocar UK. “[Alfa Romeo] has the potential to be the global premium brand of Stellantis,” he told the outlet back in June.
Part of this strategy has seen the reveal of Alfa Romeo’s much anticipated new compact crossover, the Tonale, be delayed. Having been initially slated to be released by now, it’s reportedly been pushed back by three months in order to improve the performance of its plug-in hybrid powertrain.