Alfa Romeo, an automaker that is possibly too old to die, has been kicking on in recent years with cars that look all right but suffer from the expected dependability issues. What Alfa Romeo also doesn’t have is a car that is genuinely desirable except, perhaps, the Giulia Quadrifoglio. Its CEO said recently that that might change, though it has to get its business in order first.
Jean-Philippe Imparato did not say what that might be, exactly, though he did name-check the Duetto, which you might remember from The Graduate. Imparato’s quotes, via Autocar:
“If I bring a good level of business, I’m sure that [Stellantis boss] Carlos Tavares and I will one day speak about some dream cars, because I have to support the storytelling of Alfa Romeo in the future. It’s not for tomorrow, but I would love to have a Duetto one day.
He continued: “For the moment, I’m oriented on value creation, on pricing power, on residual value, but at the same time, we are working on potential one-off and few-off [projects]. We have so many ideas. If you visit the [Alfa Romeo] museum, in five minutes you understand the potential of what we have in mind.
“I cannot present anything concrete for now, but I can tell you that I do not forget our past and our passion. I am focusing on the business and the elephant in the room is electrification. We have to have the right priorities on the table but at the same time, we are working in parallel on these projects.”
A new all-electric Duetto would honestly be a pretty interesting proposition, though it probably wouldn’t ever come to the States, where small cars are despised. It is also sort of funny that Carlos Tavares apparently won’t let Alfa do anything cool unless it “brings a good level of business,” like a parent telling a child to eat its vegetables before it gets dessert. At the pace Alfa moves, it may be years.