February 22, 2024

Alfa Romeo Milano: When iconic brand’s electric era will start

Alfa Romeo will unveil its Milano small SUV, its first-ever electric vehicle (EV), on April 10, 2024.

The vehicle is currently undergoing final development and testing at the Balocco test track near Milan, Italy before its debut.

Alfa Romeo claims the Milano will offer “best-in-class driving dynamics”, with “precise steering geometry to guarantee quick cornering with a high level of grip”.

The engineering team responsible for the Milano also worked on the Alfa Romeo 4C, 8C and Giulia GTA.

Alfa Romeo teased a heavily camouflaged image of the compact crossover, which appears to be wearing Michelin Pilot Sport EV performance tyres with 20-inch alloy wheels.

Based on previous spy photos and leaks, the Milano will have similar design characteristics to the Tonale and Stelvio.

At the front, the compact SUV carries on Alfa Romeo’s distinctive shield-shaped grille. A version of Alfa Romeo’s trademark telephone dial wheels also feature.

The headlights, however, have a different look to existing Alfa models, while there’s a sportier front bumper treatment than the likes of the Tonale.

The rear door handles are hidden in the C-pillar, much like the Giulietta hatchback for which it’s a replacement of sorts.

Alfa Romeo Australia has yet to confirm if the Milano will be offered locally.

While we don’t know any powertrain specifications, we do know the Milano is based on the STLA Small (e-CMP2) platform which also underpins the Jeep Avenger, the upcoming Lancia Ypilson and the Fiat 600.

The Jeep Avenger and Fiat 600 both measure around 4.1 metres long and 1.8 metres wide suggesting the Milano could be of a similar size.

Alfa Romeo will reportedly launch the Milano with an all-electric powertrain before expanding the range to feature mild-hybrid options.

The petrol-powered Avenger offers a 1.2-litre turbocharged three-cylinder engine, offered with a 48V mild-hybrid system and a six-speed automatic transmission. A version without this system comes with a six-speed manual.

The electric Avenger features a 400V electric architecture and a 54kWh nickel manganese cobalt (NMC) lithium-ion battery located under the cabin, claimed range on the stricter WLTP cycle is 400km.

Its newly developed electric motor produces 115kW of power and 260Nm of torque.

Jeep says a 100kW DC charger can take the Avenger’s battery from 20 to 80 per cent in 24 minutes.

Despite sharing a platform with other compact-segment Stellantis vehicles, Alfa Romeo CEO Jean-Philippe Imparato insists the Milano will still drive like an Alfa Romeo.

“You will see that it will be an Alfa Romeo,” he told Auto Express.

“We are spending time on designing that car with the same spirit. And the driveability of the car, the performance of that car, will be driven by the tuning that we do on the Tonale. We can have the driveability of an Alfa with this type of product; I have no doubt of that.”

The name Milano was last used on the 75 sports sedan in North America, and was intended to be used on the Giulietta hatch. However, as Alfa Romeo was shuttering its operations in the city of Milan at the time, criticism from employees led to the Italian brand changing the name of the hatch prior to its launch in 2010.

The company has said it will reveal its first vehicle available exclusively with an electric powertrain in 2025.

Given the potential volumes on offer, electric replacements for the Tonale and Stelvio are guaranteed. Alfa Romeo head of product planning Daniel Guzzafame has confirmed a sports sedan like the Giulia is a brand pillar, and will also feature in some form.

“You need a Giulia, you need a Stelvio, you need a Tonale,” he said. “Then you need something bigger.”

Rounding out the range of crossovers will be a large SUV to take on the Volvo EX90 and Mercedes-Benz EQE SUV in 2027.

Mr Imparato has also expressed interest in reviving the GTV coupe, although global interest in coupes is waning.

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