New all-electric Alfa Romeo Duetto Spider shapes up
Alfa Romeo is kick-starting its recovery under new owner Stellantis with the newly launched Tonale SUV – but the company isn’t likely to wait too long before it ends enthusiasts’ wait for a successor to the fabled Duetto Spider.
Alfa Romeo’s CEO Jean-Philippe Imparato has previously revealed that work on a reborn roadster has already been prepared by the company’s design chief Alejandro Masonero-Romanos – while insisting that a return for a badge last seen more than a decade ago cannot even be considered until higher-volume models have been successfully launched or renewed.
Now, speaking exclusively to Auto Express, Imparato has started to quantify how much of Alfa’s range will need to be rebuilt before the drop-top can reappear. When asked directly how many vehicles would need to beef up Alfa’s profits before the roadster could be made, Imparato replied, “Five. In fact, let me rephrase the point. It’s like asking how long do we need to do the job? And the answer is five years.
“We have to act from now. Tonale is first, then there will be more in 2023 and 2024. And then, between 2025 and 2026 we can ask, ‘Where are we?’ The conclusion will be that we are sustainable, that we exist in three regions in the world, and that we are known for our performance and quality.”
“But we will think about doing it [Duetto] far before then. I will not tell you an exact date, but it will be far before.”
Our exclusive images show how a baby roadster from the company could look. Imparato has consistently referred to the vehicle as “Duetto”, a strong hint that Masonero-Romanos is taking inspiration not from the front-wheel-drive Spider that disappeared from showrooms in 2006, but rather the classic rear-drive model that was made between 1966 and 1993.
The new car will be electric only, and it is all but certain to make use of parent group Stellantis’s forthcoming pure-electric architecture, named STLA.
Imparato confirmed to Auto Express that his brand will avoid the smallest of the STLA trio of platforms and focus on Medium and Large. It’s the first of these that’s likely to be the basis for a new Spider, since it can support vehicles as small as around 4.3 metres in length. It can offer a battery size of between 87kWh and 104kWh and electric motors with power from 168bhp to 241bhp. It’s likely, given the weight, that the second of these would be used for a rear-drive Duetto, allowing engineers to then fit a motor on each axle to produce more powerful four-wheel-drive editions.
Tonale aside, the models that Alfa needs to launch will include a larger SUV to sit above the Stelvio in the range, as well as an all-electric follow-up for that car and an EV saloon to replace the Giulia.
Before those, the next vehicle will be a small SUV. Imparato confirmed that the car’s design has been signed off, ahead of a possible reveal in 2023. “The look has been finalised,” he said, “so yes, the next launch will be in the B-SUV segment. It will be an amazing shape.”
He said the smaller, cheaper SUV needed to appeal to Alfa fans who’ve previously owned a MiTo supermini or Giulietta hatch. “We cannot put Alfa Romeo into a corner where there are only petrolheads and 500bhp cars,” he said. “We lost 1.5 million people – the guys with the Giulietta, the MiTo – who are not expecting 250bhp in their car. And I have to pull them back.”
Click here for our first review of the new Alfa Romeo Tonale SUV…
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