Alfa Romeo's CEO wants future models to have "as few Screens as possible."
As cars get more technologically advanced, touchscreens and haptic feedback controls are replacing traditional physical buttons and switches. You won't find many physical controls inside the high-tech Mercedes EQS, for example, as most functions are controlled on a swanky, albeit optional, 56-inch Hyperscreen spanning almost the entire width of the dashboard.
Speaking with Caradisiac, Alfa Romeo CEO Jean-Philippe Imparato admitted he is not a fan of this trend. "I don't sell an iPad with a car around it, I sell an Alfa Romeo," the CEO said, adding that he wants future Alfa Romeo models to have "as few screens as possible," implying there will be a greater emphasis on physical controls. Sometimes the old ways are just better.
Alfa Romeo isn't the only automaker favoring old-school buttons, dials, and knobs over touch controls. Recently, we were surprised to learn that the Audi e-tron GT still has traditional buttons for the climate control. Negative feedback also prompted Honda to replace the volume slider on the Civic's steering wheel with a traditional knob. Alfa Romeo's CEO hopes that reducing the number of distracting screens will make the interior more driver-focused.
Like many automakers, Alfa Romeo is preparing to transform into an electric-only automaker by 2027. In the same interview, Imparato said that future Alfa Romeo models will still "convey emotions," despite the lack of noise from a combustion engine. Whether this means Alfa Romeo's EVs will have artificial engine sounds remains to be seen.
Let's hope he means the engaging driving dynamics of electric Alfa Romeos will make up for the lack of engine noise stirring your emotions. Alfa Romeo's first electrified model will be the production version of the Alfa Romeo Tonale. Due to go on sale for the 2022 model year, the Tonale will be offered as a plug-in hybrid.
Under the hood, the electrified Tonale is expected to share the same plug-in hybrid powertrain as the Jeep Compass 4xe combining a 1.3-liter turbocharged engine with a 60-hp electric motor. After the Tonale, Alfa Romeo will launch its first dedicated EV. According to reports, Alfa Romeo's first EV will be a compact SUV similar in size to the Audi Q2, so we'll have to wait and see if it goes on sale in the US market