Alfa Romeo Junior EV priced from under £34k | CAR Magazine
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Alfa Romeo Junior EV priced from under £34k

Published: 05 June 2024

► Alfa Romeo Junior unveiled
► Formerly named Milano, changed within days
► Electric, petrol or hybrid engines

This is the Alfa Romeo Milano Junior, a new fully-electric crossover that promises to be ‘electric according to Alfa Romeo.’ The new SUV was revealed in Milan on 11 April but, just four days later, Alfa had to change its new model’s name to Junior, after objections from government officials infuriated that a car assembled in Poland was named after Italy’s second city.

It’s a bizarre u-turn on the EV’s name, which was chosen by public vote. Alfa CEO Jean-Philippe Imparato said: ‘We decided to change the name, even though we are not required to do so, because we want to preserve the positive emotion that our products have always generated and to avoid any controversy.’ The revised name is one from the Alfa back catalogue, originating on the 1966 GT 1300 Junior version of the Giulia.

Two electric Milano Junior models are confirmed for the UK: a 154bhp EV badged Elettrica and a more powerful 237bhp Elettrica Veloce range-topper. Buyers elsewhere will be able to pick from four models, as buyers in Europe will also be offered a 2wd 134bhp hybrid and a 134bhp four-wheel-drive Q4 hybrid. Whether or not they’ll make it to our shores eventually remains to be seen. 

That’s par for the course when it comes to Stellantis: we had a similar degree of uncertainty when it came to the Jeep Avenger, which arrived as an EV first, but later added hybrid and petrol power. 

After the name change, Alfa Romeo has announced UK pricing for the new model, with the ‘Elettrica’ EV version starting from £33,895, with upper Speciale and more powerful Veloce versions costing £35,695 and £42,295 respectively.

Where does the Alfa Romeo Junior fit in?  

Back in 2022, Alfa Romeo CEO Jean-Philippe Imparato announced a ‘zero-to-zero’ mission, which stated the brand’s target to go from no EVs to 100% zero-emission sales by 2027. The Junior (né Milano) is the first car in that ambitious plan.

Alfa Romeo’s range has an extraordinary stretch: from the heights of the 33 Stradale supercar to the new Junior electric SUV. Based on the same platform as the Jeep Avenger, and well, most Stellantis EVs, it’s a bold step into the most populated – and importantly profitable – sector yet.

Alfa used to cover the small car market in the past, with mixed results (at the global launch CEO Imparato described the EV as a spiritual return for the Giulietta and Mito), but this is very different. 

What are the specs? 

At 4.17m long, 1.5m high and 1.78m wide, the car-tist formerly known as Milano is of similar size to the Jeep Avenger – which isn’t a huge coincidence, as the base Elettrica shares the same powertrain as Jeep’s adventure-but-in-the-city EV. That means the Junior shares Stellantis’s 54kWh battery pack and makes 154bhp.  

Range clocks in at 255 miles for the base Elettrica, with no figure given for the sportier 237bhp Elettrica Veloce – but we’d expect it to be a little less long-legged. The faster Ellectrica Veloce uses the same powertrain as that found in the Fiat 600e Abarth.

The promise of 100kW DC fast-charging is available on both EVs, so you’ll be able to go from 10-80% in fewer than 30 minutes if the charger is potent enough, the company claims.

Alfa is also releasing two hybrids: the first is a mild one with a 134bhp 1.2-litre three-cylinder turbo, mounted to a 48v battery,  21kW motor and six-speed auto ‘box. Like the Jeep eHybrid, it’ll be able to use EV-only propulsion at low speeds in the city – with common scenarios including parking, and slow traffic. The word here is ‘efficiency,’ not performance.  

Look at it! 

The Junior sets itself apart from the Avenger, Fiat 600e, Milano and other Stellantis EVs by doubling-down on classic Alfa styling. Like so many new EVs nowadays, it looks to the past to regain some character that might be lost to its EV powertrain. There’s certainly a lot going on at the front end…

With that in mind, the Junior is an interesting blend of sporting detail and classic looks: as you’d expect, there’s minimal overhangs at either end, strong wheelarches and a cut-off tail that harks back to the legendarily stubby Giulia TZ. It looks mild in pictures, but is far more dramatic in person. 

The Milano gets instantly recognisable ‘3+3’ headlights that you’ll find on other contemporary Alfas, though here they form more of a C-shape than before. The EV version gets a bold, remixed grille with an enlarged Alfa logo, while the hybrid gets something more traditional and retro. Pictures here are of the electric model.

There are six colours available at launch: Arese silver, Sempione white, Navigli blue teal, Brera red, Galleria ivory and Tortona black.

The final touch comes with gaping 20-inch wheels which give the EV far more aggression than its expected £26k price tag would have you expect.

How will it drive?  

It is essentially the same mechanical package as the small Jeep EV and other related family members – no matter how much the design team have gussied it up in Italian finery. This points to a capable and effective drivetrain and chassis, if perhaps missing that Alfa fizz we’ve come to know and love over the years.

Still it’s been toned up at least: the new 2024 Alfa Romeo Junior (né Milano) has been honed by the same team that developed the Giulia GTA. Put through its paces and refined at the brand’s Balocco testing centre, the Milano Junior promises to be one of the sportiest crossovers on the road, if you believe the PR spin.

The Veloce edition offers the most direct steering in its segment for that classic Alfa feel, while its sports suspension is 25mm lower than standard for better cornering poise.

Front and rear anti-roll bars have been stiffened and the Veloce also gets chunky 380mm front discs with 38mm four-piston monobloc calipers to wipe off speed with nonchalant ease.  

Like other Alfas, the EV is configurable with the DNA system, standing for Dynamic, Natural and an Advanced Efficiency mode. The Alfa also has a wider track than other cars on the same platform.

What about inside?  

The Junior’s interior gives Alfa designers another chance to differentiate its smallest car from anything inside or outside of Stellantis. To that end, the Milano is designed to be as driver-focused as possible, with a ‘telescopic’ instrument panel that adds a bit of retro charm. Sabelt sports seats grip the front passengers, and add a little more of a dynamic feel in more dynamic trim levels. 

After some time in the car you’ll find a generally higher level or quality and premium feel than in many mainstream rivals – whether it’s in the speed of the infotainment system or the Alcantara on some of the surfaces.

That aforementioned cockpit contains a 10.25-inch TFT screen that shows you everything you need to know, and there’s also a centre-mounted 10.25-inch touchscreen for all the other stuff. 

Because this is designed to be a funky car – it’s very much a style-obsessed Alfa – the air-con vents mimic the quadrifoglio cloverleaf pattern long associated with the Milanese brand. Of course.  

Sensible things 

Like the Tonale, the baby Alfa has to go out and claim an entirely new customer compared to before and that means stats like bootspace actually count. As well as paying attention to the lines of and chassis dynamics of the Junior, Alfa engineers have made room for a 400-litre boot, giving it the largest capacity in the sector.  

Other sensible features include standard-fit parking sensors, level 2 autonomous technology (aka radar cruise control) and a neat space under the bonnet for storing your charging cable and EV paraphernalia.

What about cost?

Order books for the Milano opened in Italy in April 2024, and order books for the Junior opened a few days later. There’s no UK price confirmed for the new crossover yet (let alone a line-up) but expect the electric Alfas we’ll get to start suspiciously near the Jeep Avenger’s £34k asking price.

What do you think of the new Alfa Romeo Milano? Or should that be Junior? Be sure to sound off in the comments below. 

By Curtis Moldrich

CAR's Digital Editor, F1 and sim-racing enthusiast. Partial to clever tech and sports bikes