But when asked about a new entry-level model at the Geneva motor show, Zerbi said: "We are looking below what we have and above what we have - that is all I will say."
Zerbi refused to elaborate further, but said: "If we want to hit our sales target of 400,000 cars a year we need an entry-level model. For sure I am not talking about another Mito, but what it is we will see.”
That raises the possibility of the firm either developing a hatchback to sit below the Giulietta - which Zerbi confirmed would be replaced - a compact SUV to sit below the Tonale revealed as a concept in Geneva today, and which is due to launch in production at the end of 2020, or a crossover which combines the merits of a high-riding hatchback.
With SUVs and crossovers rising in popularity and able to command bigger margins in the premium market, that would be the most likely option for Alfa, especially given the ability to use architecture from other FCA Group firms including Jeep.
At present, Alfa sells around 150,000 cars a year, although former boss Sergio Marchionne once set a target of 500,000 sales by 2014, which was then put back to 2020.
The larger model referred to by Zerbi is believed to be a stretched version of the Stelvio, potentially accommodating up to seven passengers in a bid to woo buyers, especially in the American and Chinese markets. The firm's five-year business plan included both a long wheelbase version of the Stelvio, and a separate 'e-segment' large SUV.