Alfa Romeo wants to get back into the small car segment, and it intends to dust off a familiar name for its new entry.

    Brand CEO Jean-Philippe Imparato told Italian publication Quattroroute the proposed small car will be a hatchback like the defunct Giulietta. It could, however, have a more fastback-like look.

    One other key difference from the Giulietta: the Alfetta will be electric-only, as the brand ceases the sale of combustion-powered vehicles from 2027.

    The current Tonale will therefore wrap up production at that point, and the Alfetta will reportedly appear in 2027 or 2028.

    Mr Imparato said the brand will decide in September the specific product plan for 2028-30, and whether to replace the Tonale and upcoming sub-Tonale crossover that’ll share its platform with the Jeep Avenger.

    “The C-segment for Alfa Romeo will not be just Tonale. What I want to do is… an Alfetta,” he said, in translated remarks.

    “[A small hatch is] a very European formula, I’m aware of that. But if I make enough money with the other models, and if the Tonale and the models we will launch in the next few years manage to establish a solid international relevance of Alfa Romeo, then I also do it just for Europe.”

    A small hatchback wouldn’t really fly, for example, in the US market where Alfa Romeo plans to target with its upcoming flagship SUV. The only premium-brand small hatch sold there is the Acura Integra, while even the Volkswagen Golf is now only sold there in GTI and R guise.

    The Chinese market also tends to prefer small sedans to hatchbacks.

    Even in Europe, small cars aren’t on as steady a footing as they were before SUVs surged in popularity. Ford is killing its Focus and Mercedes-Benz’s A-Class is rumoured to be getting the axe.

    Alfa Romeo is planning to introduce electric replacements for the current Giulia and Stelvio, plus a new electric SUV to sit above them.

    Mr Imparato has previously said he was interested in reviving the GTV sports coupe, too.

    The Alfetta name was previously used on a single generation of sedan and coupe. The former was produced from 1972 to 1984 and the latter from 1972 to 1987, though the Alfetta name eventually gave way for GTV.

    The sedan slotted in above the Giulia and later Giulietta sedans, and was replaced by the 90.

    The Alfetta revival won’t be the only Stellantis product that will see the company return to a segment it abandoned.

    Fiat is reportedly planning to return to the light car segment after having discontinued the Punto in 2018, while the long-neglected Lancia brand will get fresh product including a new small car that set to dust off the Delta name.

    Stellantis, formed from a merger of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) and Groupe PSA, has been giving all its brands funding and 10 years to turn themselves around.

    It’s also been rolling out fresh product across its 14 brands, whereas under FCA brands like Lancia and Alfa Romeo were starved of product.

    In 2019, for example, planned GTV and 8C revivals and a BMW X5 rival for Alfa Romeo were nixed.

    A replacement Giulietta disappeared from FCA’s future product plans back in 2017, and the now discontinued model was instead left to wither on the vine. It entered production in 2010 and had a lengthy 10-year run.

    MORE: Everything Alfa Romeo Giulietta

    William Stopford

    William Stopford is an automotive journalist based in Brisbane, Australia. William is a Business/Journalism graduate from the Queensland University of Technology who loves to travel, briefly lived in the US, and has a particular interest in the American car industry.

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