Reports of the demise of the Alfa Romeo GTV may have been exaggerated.
Well, actually, they haven’t, the Italian brand’s management definitely axed plans to build it. But fortunately for Alfisti, there’s new management and the recently-installed CEO wants to revive the iconic sports car badge.
Frenchman Jean-Philippe Imparato has taken the reins at the Italian brand since the Stellantis merger and speaking at last week’s European launch of the Giulia GTAm he spoke of his desire to return the brand to its glory days, when it make popular sports cars such as the GTV and Duetto convertible. However, he was quick to temper his comments, stating they are a personal belief and not a confirmation that the on-again-off-again GTV is back on. In fact, he made it clear a GTV return was dependent on a successful turnaround of the brand’s commercial fortunes.
Stellantis has reportedly given all of its brands a decade to implement a plan and execute it successfully, before it reviews potential cuts. That means Imparato has 10 years to make Alfa Romeo a true rival to the German prestige brands – Audi, BMW and Mercedes-Benz.
The immediate focus will be the launch of the Tonale small SUV and its more compact sibling, currently known as Brennero. The two new offerings are the key to the brand’s success, giving Alfa Romeo entry into the booming compact SUV market.
Imparato has delayed the introduction of the Tonale, sending his engineers and designers back to the drawing board to ensure it is good enough to take on the likes of the Audi Q3, BMW X1 and Mercedes GLA.
The Brennero is expected to be based on the new Stellantis small platform, which will make it capable of using conventional petrol engines, hybrid and fully-electric powertrains to future proof it.
In the pre-Stellantis days, Alfa Romeo announced it would bring back the GTV as a four-seat coupe, with a 447kW engine with “E-Boost” and all-wheel drive. Those plans were dropped in late 2019 (only 18 months after the original announcement) to focus resources on the Tonale.
As for a revived Duetto (or Spider as Alfa’s convertible was also known at times), Alfa Romeo was meant to produce a re-badged version of the Mazda MX-5 but backed out late in proceedings and instead parent company Fiat-Chrysler changed it to the Abarth 124 Spider.
In other words, don’t hold your breath but there is a glimmer of hope for sports car fans.