Say Goodbye to the Little Guy as Alfa Romeo Discontinues the Giulietta
As cute as it was, the Giulietta simply couldn’t cope with the compact segment pressure and SUV riseby Tudor Rus, on
Just like any other car out there, the Alfa Romeo Giulietta had its flaws. It had strong selling points, too, like its appealing looks and crisp dynamic abilities. Those, however, were not enough to keep sales figures from sinking under the pressure of its very potent compact rivals and that of crossovers, too.
Speaking of crossovers, their rise to power is the reason behind Alfa Romeo’s decision to axe the Giulietta. As a replacement, the Italians won’t launch a new hatchback and will instead put their hopes of a profit in a high-riding vehicle we know as the Alfa Romeo Tonale.
Believe it or not, the Giulietta is Alfa’s best-selling model
In 2019, Alfa Romeo sold 54,365 cars in Europe. In 2018, the tally was considerably higher, with 83,438 units shipped to customers. 2017 was even better, as the Italians pushed 86,805.
According to Car Sales Base, of those 54,365 cars sold in 2019, 15,690 were Giuliettas. Of the 83,438 cars Alfa Romeo delivered in 2018, 26,632 were Giuliettas, and in 2017, the brand assembled no less than 32,700 Giuliettas.
The trend is obvious: sales plunged and halved over two years, between 2017 and 2019.
Add the ever-growing popularity of high-riding SUVs and crossovers to the mix and the Giulietta’s fate is sealed. What’s more, Alfa won’t replace it with another compact hatchback.
According to Autocar, the Giulietta will get the axe later this year, with the Tonale coming to replace it. In addition, Alfa Romeo hopes to emulate Giulietta’s spirited driving capabilities with the Tonale, as Italian officials “don’t expect driving dynamics to be a weak point for the Tonale.”
What’s the 2021 Tonale and when is it coming?
For the time being, the Tonale remains a handsome-looking concept revealed by Alfa Romeo at the 2019 Geneva Show.
It previewed a subcompact luxury crossover that’s supposed to sign its debut this year, although the coronavirus pandemic might have a word to say regarding that.
The Tonale is set to slot under the Stelvio and rival the likes of BMW X1, Mercedes-Benz GLA, and Volvo XC40. Obviously, there’s no word on pricing, but we expect a starting sticker of around $30,000.
Drivetrain-wise, we expect an assortment of all-wheel drive and front-wheel drive layouts. The Tonale is likely to be developed on the same underpinnings as the Jeep Renegade. Besides ICE variants, there will also be a plug-in-hybrid model featuring an e-motor sitting on the rear axle, according to Car and Driver. Under the the hood, the PHEV Alfa Romeo Tonale will most likely hide a 2.0-liter turbocharged gasoline unit.
However, Jeep has a hybrid setup that mixes a 1.3-liter gasoline ICE with an electric motor, with power outputs ranging from 190 to 240 horsepower. This setup looks like a good fit for the Tonale - at least on paper - but we’ll have to wait and see how that pans out.