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First Look

Welcome to Alfa Romeo's first electric car: the brand-new Milano

Meet the small SUV that Alfa hopes will massively boost its sales... and sprinkle a little romance into the segment

Published: 10 Apr 2024

This is the Alfa Romeo Milano, the small SUV that aims to dramatically boost the company’s sales. Alfa Romeo, of course, is part of the sprawling Stellantis group, so this car is related to the Fiat 600, Jeep Avenger, Peugeot 2008 and Vauxhall Corsa. Ah, but Alfa says the Milano is a ‘handbook’ for the Italian brand, devoted “to the satisfaction of the sensory faculties”. Erm, OK.

Alfa has traditionally done that via rorty engines and characterful styling. The Milano is the first Alfa BEV, though there will be a hybrid, too, powered by a 1.2-litre, three cylinder turbo. We might get the front drive one in the UK – Alfa has yet to decide – but not the all-wheel drive iteration.

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So the name of the game here is differentiation. Take those same ingredients – in this case the eCMP platform - and do something extra tasty with them. Alfa’s design team, led by Alejandro Mesonero-Romanos, has certainly had a good go. The Milano is 4.1m long, 1.5m tall, and has a solid stance. The overhangs are short, the rear truncated in a way that makes references to the Sixties Giulia TZ less fanciful than first appears. There’s a new take on the ‘scudetto’ grille, which comes in ‘leggenda’ or punchy ‘progresso’ versions. The Alfa telephone dial wheels get a remix. And the 3+3 headlights are full LED matrix jobs.

The electric Milano uses a 54kWh battery pack (50.8 useable), not entirely coincidentally the same one you’ll find in the Abarth 600e and Jeep Avenger. Here, it’s available in two variants, with either a 154bhp or 238bhp power output, and a single motor driving the front wheels. Alfa claims a range of 250 miles. If TG’s Avenger experience is anything to go by, that’s likely to be closer to 200 in the real world, although we’ve seen 4.1 miles per kWh from that car.

That said, Alfa Romeo is targeting best-in-class handling and performance here. So the Milano has faster, more direct steering, lowered suspension, and beefier front and rear anti-roll bars, and in more extrovert Veloce guise 380mm diameter front discs with four-piston calipers, 20in wheels, and a mechanical self-locking differential. Alfa’s DNA drive mode programme reappears here – D is for Dynamic, N is for natural and that’s the everyday setting, and A is for advanced efficiency. Everything is softened off. Alfa proudly tells us that the team that developed the Giulia GTA also did the Milano. We’ll find out soon.

Inside, the mission is to conjure up an Alfa Romeo atmosphere from the group parts matrix. The instrument panel has a ‘telescope’ twin cowled effect that nods back to historic Alfas. In the middle of that sits a digital 10.25in configurable display. The infotainment is handled by a 10.25in touchscreen, whose widgets can be fully customised and dragged and dropped. Each user can create their own home-page. The air vents here are in the shape of a four-leaf clover, and the Veloce version gets Sabelt sports seats and lots of red (rosso, innit). Alfa Romeo claims a class-leading 400-litre boot capacity (at the rear of the car) while there’s a cable organiser in the frunk.

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The Milano also promises level 2 automated driving, and has 360° parking sensors and a 180° rear camera. It’ll also open and lock itself automatically via proximity sensor tech. EV routing via the GPS means the car will find the nearest charging point on your journey, out of 600,000 charging points Europe-wide. The usual suite of Apps are available to maximise connectivity. E-control lets you start and stop charging remotely, and there’s a voice activated virtual assistant and Chat GPT functionality. There are three trim levels: Techno, Premium and Sport.

As well as in-house rivals like the Vauxhall Mokka electric and DS3 Crossback e-tense, major competition comes from the likes of Volvo’s impressive EX30 and the Smart #One. These are the new family car paradigm, but Alfa Romeo, more than anyone else, wants to introduce a bit of romance into the equation. The Speciale launch edition is available to order now, with the Progesso grille, Spiga vinyl and fabric interior, and eight-colour interior lighting.

Prices are unconfirmed but Alfa reckons the entry level car will undercut the Jeep Avenger’s £34k starting cost.

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