Alfa Romeo will be the first brand to use Stellantis’ new electronics architecture, but the brand won’t go all-in on high-tech interiors.
In an interview with Autocar, Alfa Romeo CEO Jean-Philippe Imparato said he does “respect what Mercedes is doing with its digital technology”, but believes his “customers aren’t looking for metre-wide infotainment screens in their cars or 200 digital assistance systems to switch on and off”.
The next-generation Giulia will be the first fully electric Alfa, set to make its debut in 2025. In addition to using the STLA Medium architecture, it will be “the first to deploy the Stellantis group’s all-new electronic architecture, STLA Brain”.
Despite this, Mr Imparato thinks Alfa Romeo “must continue to play to our strength”, and the addition of lots of new technology “won’t change how our cars speak or appeal to our customers”.
Research conducted by Alfa Romeo indicates buyers want to retain the brand’s iconic cannocchiale (or deep-set dual-cowl instrument panel) and want an infotainment system providing them with info about the car’s status, but one that isn’t burdened with superfluous information.
Mr Imparato says upcoming cars will have the cannocchiale, and most will feature a larger instrumentation display, but is adamant the brand should only include technology and features capable of “helping you to drive the car and keeping you engaged in the process”.
As such, something like a “ghost car” projection in the head-up display “to help you position the car as you drive” would be feature he’d like to add, while “weather for three weeks’ time” would clearly be something to avoid.
Like the trend for super-large screens, Alfa under Mr Imparato won’t “offer every lane-keeping, convenience and crash-avoidance system that we can, just because our competitors have them”.
Whenever the brand decides to offer autonomous driving tech, it will offer drivers the choice of “I want to drive” and “I want to be driven” at start up, so there’s no confusion about whether the car is semi-autonomous mode or under full human control.