The brand is returning to its roots.
A glance at Alfa Romeo's lineup may leave you wondering why the brand has abandoned small sports cars (which made them famous), in favor of premium sedans and SUVs. Yes, the Giulia Quadrifoglio may fly the performance flag, but since the 4C was discontinued, the Italian brand has shown no signs of returning to what it does best: breathtakingly beautiful roadsters and coupes fitted with rambunctious powertrains and superbly balanced chassis'.
This has to do with the struggling brand needing a bigger piece of the luxury car pie, introducing the Stelvio and all-new Tonale to sway buyers of BMW, Mercedes-Benz, and Audi SUVs. But according to a report from Autocar, CEO Jean-Philippe Imparato says the brand will return to making sports cars before the end of the decade.
On top of that, the Torinese carmaker also has limited edition and one-off projects in the pipeline. Imparato says more details will be revealed as the year goes by.
The CEO mentioned the beautiful T33 Stradale and Spider (known as the Duetto) as potential references for subsequent designs, noting he would never forget the brand's passion or motoring history.
"I cannot present anything concrete for now, but I can tell you that I do not forget our past and our passion," promised Imparato. "I am focusing on the business and the elephant in the room is electrification. We have to have the right priorities on the table but at the same time, we are working in parallel on these projects."
Since the turn of the century, the brand has produced very few dedicated sports cars, with the highly-limited 8C supercar and 4C being the only models to make it stateside. Previously, plans to introduce a new, electrified 8C and a GTV coupe based on the Giulia were scrapped, with company high-ups noting any investments made by the carmaker must "generate appropriate returns."
Imperato noted, "If I bring a good level of business, I'm sure that Carlos Tavares [CEO of Stellantis] and I will one day speak about some dream cars because I have to support the storytelling of Alfa Romeo in the future. It's not for tomorrow, but I would love to have a Duetto one day."
The new Tonale SUV is part of Alfa's turnaround strategy. It is also the brand's first electrified offering, meaning Alfa can now target a wider audience with its more keenly priced and environmentally responsible model. It certainly looks the part, wearing the Italian carmaker's styling flourishes very well. The interior is also appealing, featuring the Uconnect 5 infotainment system on a 10.25-inch touchscreen. Alfa is also promising the newcomer will be athletic, offering enthusiast drivers "sports car-like impeccable dynamic behavior."
We certainly hope the Tonale is as successful as Alfa needs it to be. If it finds enough customers, the Italian carmaker will be able to, once again, invest in sports car development without fear of ruination.