Four-wheel drive confirmed for Mito’s spiritual successor, which promises Alfa-appropriate handling behaviour
The new crossover – which appeared for the first time in leaked images recently – takes Alfa Romeo back into the B-segment for the first time since the Mito supermini retired in 2019 and will be the brand’s first electric car to reach showrooms.
Alfa Romeo has confirmed that the Milano will be sold with pure-electric and mild-hybrid powertrains, but only the EV is currently planned to come to the UK.
In reference to widespread recent reports that the car would be called Brennero, Alfa Romeo CEO Jean-Philippe Imparato told reporters: “As a matter of respect for our history, the SUV will not be named Brennero, as I have read on social media. I told you two years ago that it would not be Brennero.”
The name Milano – last used in the 1980s for the US-market version of the 75 saloon – was chosen to emphasise “the connection between the car and the roots of Alfa Romeo”, Imparato said.
Powertrain details remain unconfirmed, but the Milano is set to use a 54kWh battery for a range of around 250 miles.
The electric Milano will be four-wheel-drive, Imparato confirmed, suggesting it will be the first E-CMP-based car to add a second motor on the rear axle.
Jeep has also confirmed a four-wheel-drive version of the Avenger, but while that will be conceived with an emphasis on off-road ability, the Milano will use a 4WD layout to give the car distinctive and engaging handling characteristics, in line with Alfa’s dynamic remit.
Autocar asked Imparato how the company will ensure the new Milano will feel like an Alfa Romeo, despite its volume-oriented positioning and shared underpinnings.
He said: “The answer to that will be on the track in Balocco,” referring to Alfa Romeo’s proving ground near Turin, where the new SUV will be launched in June.
He added: “You will drive it, and you will have the answer to that question. This car follows the platform strategy of the group, and I’m very pleased with that because it brings me profit, but always we will have the touch of Alfa Romeo.
“When Carlos [Tavares, Stellantis CEO] asked me ‘what do you want to be the champion of?’, my answer was that I always want to be the champion of handling.
“At the moment, we are studying the opportunity for comparative test drives, because I don’t have anything to hide against the competition.”
Imparato added that a hot Quadrifoglio version is under consideration but will not be confirmed until the brand has determined what customers “are ready to pay”.
He said: “We are ready to do everything they want. This is not a problem. But we want to test first the acceptance and the level of monthly instalment they are ready to pay for a Quadrifoglio version.”
From launch, the Milano will be sold in Perfor, Veloce and limited launch-edition trims.
Alfa Romeo forecasts that the Milano will account for around 40% of its global sales, but Imparato emphasised that the company is more focused on generating profits than “selling more cars”.
However, he said if demand for the SUV is much higher than forecasted, the Tychy factory has capacity to meet it: “If I sell 5000 per month, I will sell 5000 per month. If I sell 10,000 per month, I will sell 10,000 per month.”
Alfa Romeo’s market share in the UK has dipped from 0.1% to 0.08% this year, despite the introduction of the new Tonale SUV, but Imparato says the Milano will be an attractive proposition for fleet customers and it is expected to have a positive impact on its sales figures here.
But Alfa Romeo will not rely on discounting to boost demand, he said. “I will not go into the war on prices – easy money, easy discounts – that I see in [the UK] today.
“I don’t need that. I don’t want to follow the aggressive discounts I’ve seen in the last months. I don’t want to destroy the value of the car.”
The brand will give an indication of pricing at the Milano’s reveal in April, but Alfa Romeo’s premium positioning means it will command a premium over the Jeep Avenger so is likely to start at around £40,000.