Currently reading: Alfa Romeo Milano enters final testing phase ahead of April debut
Four-wheel drive confirmed for new compact SUV, which promises brand-appropriate handling behaviour

The Alfa Romeo Milano – the Italian brand’s second small SUV – is now in the final stages of testing and development at the hallowed Balocco test track.

Primed for a full unveiling on 10 April, the Milano is primed to take Alfa Romeo back into the B-segment for the first time since the Mito supermini was retired in 2019.

Alfa Romeo has also emphasised the focus on the SUV's handling, stating that it's targeting “best-in-class driving dynamics” to “guarantee quick cornering with a high level of grip". 

It added that the team of engineers working on the Milano previously developed the 4C and 8C sports cars, the Giulia saloon and the Stelvio Quadrifoglio performance SUV.

Powertrain details will be announced in April, but we’re expecting the Milano EV to use a 54kWh battery, offering a range of around 250 miles.

Alfa Romeo confirmed last year that, in addition to being the brand’s first electric car to reach showrooms, the Milano will be sold with a mild-hybrid powertrain.

Currently, though, only the EV is planned to come to the UK. 

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", Alfa Romeo CEO Jean-Philippe Imparato said. 

Measuring around 4.1m long and 1.8m wide, the new Volvo EX30 rival will share the E-CMP platform with the Jeep Avenger, alongside which it will be built in Tychy, Poland. 

The electric Milano will be four-wheel-drive, 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.  

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Autocar asked Imparato how the company would ensure the new Milano would 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.

Alfa Romeo Milano rear leak

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."

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Alfa Romeo Milano front quarter leak

From launch, the Milano will be sold in Perfo, 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. 

Felix Page

Felix Page
Title: Deputy editor

Felix is Autocar's deputy editor, responsible for leading the brand's agenda-shaping coverage across all facets of the global automotive industry - both in print and online.

He has interviewed the most powerful and widely respected people in motoring, covered the reveals and launches of today's most important cars, and broken some of the biggest automotive stories of the last few years. 

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Peter Cavellini 24 January 2024

Not really changed my view since I last posted on this car in 23', it's expensive for what it is, and is from car brand that's not that prevalent, well not in my part of country, but with increasing Chinese brands , it must be getting harder to get a slice of the market.

Dozza 15 December 2023

£40k for a bland looking EV with 153bhp. Or £34k for a 268bhp Volvo EX30. No contest. Volvo. Alfa's Guilia is a true Alfa in style typical of all high end Italian cars. This is a Jeep in drag. 

Anton motorhead 14 December 2023
Beauty is in the eyes of the beholder, but to my eyes this is a disaster. No matter what hopes profit hungry Imperator has for this car it won't sell. The Tonale and the fine Giulia don't sell - problem? Wrong prices, wrong models, wrong design (except Giulia) failed marketing and bad service. Says a lifelong fan of the marque and happy owner of two proper (older) Alfas.
shiftright 15 December 2023

The Giulia and the Stelvio have been selliig well enough to put Alfa back in the black, so there goes that argument, but I do agree with you on this. Who cares about this? A badge engineered platform-sharing special elecric SUV from a brand knows for its engines. Bleh.

xxxx 24 January 2024
shiftright wrote:

The Giulia and the Stelvio have been selliig well enough to put Alfa back in the black, 

You're kidding, Giulia sales have plummeted in both the US and Europe. Alfa are a company within a company and the accounts can show whatever the parent company want to show