The Italian brand Alfa Romeo is without a doubt one of the most famous in the automotive world. However, it is also one of the most problematic: the successful years in the history of Alfa Romeo may be even less than the next “restart” of the brand. However, this is another attempt to ensure the growth of the company in the coming years.
When fans take the wheel
Often it is people, not just technology, who decide the course of history. We are now seeing this in Ukraine as an example of our own history – at the same time, Alfa Romeo has also been given a new “name” that should be synonymous with success. Meet Jean-Philippe Imparato, the new head of an Italian company who took the helm in early 2021. And it has already achieved some success: the Alfa Romeo brand recently recorded an annual profit. For the first time in a long time.
Frankly, in the short term it is not a difficult task to show a profit: cut expenses, everything is turned to cash and you’re in positive territory. However, such profit can not be permanent and for some time the company may find itself in a deep crisis: due to a lack of development, if you just cut costs. However, we hope that Jean-Philippe is better than us all. Especially since the last five years before Alfa Romeo, he was the head of the Peugeot brand, which literally revolutionized the mass market segment: modern impressive models, increased sales and (most importantly!) increased profits. That is, we have a leader with strategic thinking who can plan for several years ahead.
And the new leader is a real Alfa Romeo fan. After all, he openly admits that his first acquaintance with the world of cars was due to his father’s car Alfa Romeo. Then Jean-Philippe lists several cult models of Italian cars, which touch not only his heart, but also the feelings of many real “Alfisti”. However, it is too early for sentiments. He needs a solid foundation for further success. And this foundation should be provided, first of all, by the Alfa Romeo Tonale SUV.
The SUV everyone has been waiting for is the Alfa Romeo Tonale
The idea of building a small Alfa Romeo SUV has existed for several years, and previous concepts quite accurately showed the design of the production model. Which, in the end, was named Alfa Romeo Tonale. What is it?
This is a compact SUV, though it is not really that compact: the total length is 4.53 meters, the wheelbase is 2.64 meters. That is, we have a worthy competitor for such famous cars as Audi Q3, BMW X1, MINI Countryman, Jaguar E-Pace, Lexus UX. Opponents are strong, but the “Italian” is also well prepared. The buyer can choose from gasoline and diesel engines with a capacity of 130-260 hp, front or all-wheel drive, a classic 9-speed automatic or robotic TST transmission. Plus a hybrid PHEV version (where else in Europe?) with a total output of 275 hp and with the drive range of about 60 kilometers.
However, what Alfa Romeo could be without hints of “hot” sports character? Here, for example: a steering wheel with a gear ratio of 13.6. The company claims that this is the “sharpest” steering wheel in its class. One more example: the chassis of the car used shock absorbers with FSD technology from the Koni manufacturer. Such shock absorbers promise to combine comfort of movement and good controllability at fast maneuvering in connection with several turns. And the new crossover Alfa Romeo Tonale will receive a huge line of various wheels with a diameter of 17-20 inches. The top version of the discs is of course made in the “corporate” style of Alfa Romeo with large round holes. It may be not so comfortable, but how dynamic it looks!
Modern digital features of the car are also interesting. Now it’s not so much about the 12.3-inch dashboard display or the central 10.25-inch touchscreen, but about the application of NFT technology for the car (the developers claim that this is the first example in the automotive world). Virtually every Alfa Romeo Tonale crossover will receive its own unique “digital signature” that allows you to track the history of the car at any time, anywhere in the world where there is Internet. Ultimately, this will maintain the car’s service history, help better understand its technical condition – and, ultimately, improve liquidity in the secondary market. After all, “bitter tongues” have long talked about the rapid loss of value as one of the problems for Italian cars in general and Alfa Romeo in particular. Here is an example of how the company is trying to solve fundamental issues in a non-standard way. And this is just one example – but in general, the “Italians” planned much more!
What’s next: new SUV, GTV and Spider, expanding geography
The Alfa Romeo Tonale SUV is definitely a crucial new model. However, it is not the last of the Alfa Romeo, which are scheduled for release in the near future in 3-5 years. At the very least, we mention the even more compact crossover Alfa Romeo (now codenamed Brennero), then we expect the return of the GTV and Spider models. In addition, we expect the appearance of electric cars – promised in 2024, it may be a replacement for MiTo. However, the first new model that will reach the customers will be the aforementioned Alfa Romeo Tonale SUV. The European start of sales is scheduled for this summer, in early 2023 the car should reach the United States and other countries outside Europe.
In addition to the development of the model range, the company is also focusing on the development of its own marketing component. One of the key issues here is further participation in the Formula 1 race, where the Alfa Romeo brand has an interesting history. However, beside historical hints of past victories and gaining some sporting experience, Formula 1 racing will also help in the global promotion of the brand – to increase sales requires not only expanding the proposed model line, but also expanding sales geography: new countries in Europe, sales in the US and Asia.
So, if all the plans work, the Alfa Romeo brand will not just get another fresh momentum, but will really strengthen its market position and will be able to continue to develop for many years to come. So now Alfa Romeo, like Ukraine, is writing a new chapter in its own history, doing everything to make this story positive and victorious in the end.