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Alfa Romeo boss keen on sports cars, but mainstream models come first

Alfa Romeo is working on sports cars, but production approval will have to wait until the brand has proven it can be profitable.

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Derek Fung
Derek Fung
Journalist
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Unlike earlier management regimes, Alfa Romeo wants to get the basics sorted out before it mines the past for model inspiration.

In an interview with Autocar, Alfa Romeo CEO Jean-Philippe Imparato said his team is “working on potential one-off and few-off [sports car projects]” and name-checked the Spider Duetto and T33 Stradale.

Imparato then tamped down expectations by saying any work on potential sports cars is being done in “parallel” with the main focus on “value creation, on pricing power, on residual value”.

Only once Alfa Romeo has turned itself around, and shown that it can deliver its promised products and become a profitable business will Imparato approach Stellantis CEO Carlos Tavares to “speak about some dream cars”.

Following the template laid out by Tavares, and which Imparato implemented during his time in charge of Peugeot, Alfa is now chasing profitability not volume.

He admitted to Automotive News Europe Alfa Romeo has set BMW as its global pricing benchmark.

“To me, pricing is not a selling tool, it’s a lever to improve a brand’s positioning. You can’t build a premium brand if you are under pressure to reach high volumes,” Imparato told the trade publication.

In addition to reducing unsold stock, and having realistic production targets, Imparato and his small Alfa team are working on launching five new cars from here until 2027.

The company launched the Tonale small crossover last week. This will be followed by a “big event supporting the business” in 2023, and a sub-Tonale crossover in 2024.

This new model is expected to be named Brennero, and will be available with the brand’s first pure EV drivetrain option. Based on PSA’s CMP architecture, Brennero will also be sold with internal combustion engines, at least initially.

Starting in 2025 all of the company’s new models will be engineered exclusively for electric propulsion. The first two cars in Alfa’s EV-only era will be replacements for the Giulia sedan and Stelvio crossover, both of which will be based on the STLA Large architecture that supports both rear- and all-wheel drive formats.

The Alfa boss said that while “we haven’t made our choice” regarding the brand’s fifth model, he hinted heavily it could be a crossover or coupe crossover one or two segments above the Stelvio.

Come 2027 the company plans to have a fully electric range, largely thanks to the EU’s proposed new car CO2 targets.

While Audi, Mercedes-Benz and BMW will continue to offer models with internal combustion engines in some markets after their European lineups go all electric, Imparato said Alfa Romeo couldn’t support “two separate product lines”, likely due to its smaller size and perilous financial situation.

Volvo and Lexus are also planning to go fully electric, with the Swedish brand doing so by 2030 and the Japanese marque planning on joining the club in 2035.

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Derek Fung
Derek Fung

Derek Fung would love to tell you about his multiple degrees, but he's too busy writing up some news right now. In his spare time Derek loves chasing automotive rabbits down the hole. Based in New York, New York, Derek loves to travel and is very much a window not an aisle person.

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