Alfa Romeo Aims to Lose the Elitist Status That’s Plagued it for Years - story fullscreen Fullscreen

Alfa Romeo Aims to Lose the Elitist Status That’s Plagued it for Years

This could be the beginning of a new age for Alfa Romeo

LISTEN 03:05

Times are changing at Alfa Romeo. It is adopting EV tech and starting to ditch their classic sedans for compact SUVs, although nearly every other manufacturer is doing the same nowadays. The most significant change in the company is coming straight from the man in charge, Jean-Philippe Imperato, who said, "My quality benchmark is Lexus," in an interview with Automotive news.

What the CEO thinks of Alfa

Alfa Romeo Aims to Lose the Elitist Status That's Plagued it for Years
- image 1083762

Imperato told Wheels, "At Stellantis, every single model must be profitable. Losing money on a halo car, even if it boosts the brand image, is an absolute no-go. Before Tonale, Alfa had only the Giulia and the Stelvio. Great cars for sure, they compete in a league dominated by the Germans. Furthermore, they are too pricey for Alfisti, who would like to trade up from a Giulietta, let alone the MiTo."

Imperato continued by saying, "Let me be quite clear about this: the portfolio we are working on will include more and more affordable products. Having fixed the quality issues, the next priority is to kick up the resale values. Lower and absolutely transparent running costs are the key to commercial success."

More evidence of Alfa Romeo wanting to get the best bang for its buck is that the Tonale rides on the oldest platform in the Stallantis group. The CUSW chassis went into production in 2010 with the Giulietta hatchback. Alfa apparently has plenty of faith in the complete package though, as the Tonale is offered with a five-year warranty of up to 75,000 miles.

The new Tonale SUV is likely to start at around $40,000, with no word of ultra-sporty versions in the works (the most powerful Q4 version tops out at 275 horsepower). That will bring the average price of a new Alfa down by a good margin.

What about the future of Alfa?

Alfa Romeo Aims to Lose the Elitist Status That's Plagued it for Years
- image 1083759
However, somewhat shoddy build quality and a slightly high price have always been part of Alfa Romeo.

An even smaller SUV is set to debut in 2024 and will follow in the Tonale’s footsteps by bringing the brand into even more affordable territory. This SUV will not be called by its rumored name of Brennero, as Alfa is also moving away from naming cars after Italian cities, lakes, or mountains.

Up until now, Alfa Romeo has always been a luxury brand, with higher prices and unique benefits to owning them, mostly the name itself, the usually gorgeous styling, and the driving experience. However, the Italian manufacturer now wants to operate in a different space in the automotive market, offering more affordable models with a greater emphasis on quality.

The potential issue this could cause is a lack of brand identity. Lacking in build quality and being a bit too expensive have always been a part of being an Alfa Romeo. Hopefully, we will see Alfa keep its character; its driving experience, good looks, and so on, while being easier to live with and not just another option on a spreadsheet.

Josh Conturo
Josh Conturo
Hello, I am the new intern here at TopSpeed! I grew up in Columbus, Ohio, and am a senior at Capital University in Bexley, Ohio. I got into cars as a kid playing video games like Need for Speed: Underground and going to car shows with my grandfather. Once I got to college I realized I love writing and decided to combine that with my love of cars and began writing for the school newspaper. fast froward a couple years and here we are!  Read full bio
About the author
What do you think?
Show Comments
Car Finder: