Alfa has reinvented its museum in Arese as part of the brand's own relaunch; Autocar has already paid a visit to the new site

Alfa Romeo has completely redeveloped its museum in Arese, Italy. The move follows the relaunch of Alfa itself as a maker of sporty rear-wheel-drive models starting with the Giulia.

‘La macchina del tempo – Museo storico Alfa Romeo’ (The Time Machine – Alfa Romeo Historical Museum) reopened last week alongside a new brand centre for Alfa, which includes a showroom, test track, customer delivery area and bookshop, all part of the firm using its 105-year history to promote its new cars.

Alfa’s museum closed in 2009 after the Arese plant was decommissioned. Architect Benedetto Camerana was commissioned for a new design in late 2013, and work started on the new museum last summer.

The museum, which, unlike before, is now open to the public without advance warning needed, is now home to 69 of Alfa’s most iconic road and race cars spread out over three floors.

The three floors each get their own theme: 'Timeline', which is a chronological walk-through of some of Alfa’s great road cars; 'Beauty', which features some of its famous models from coachbuilders, design studios, concept cars and movie cars; and 'Speed', which shows off some of Alfa’s legendary racing cars.

The Timeline section houses 19 cars, including Alfa’s first model, the 24HP of 1910, through to the 8C and 6C models of the 1930s and 1940s, the 1900 and Giulietta of the 1950s, 1962’s Giulia, the Alfetta and Alfasud of the 1970s, and the 156 and 8C of more recent times.

Several themed areas feature in the Beauty section, including Alfas reimagined by famous Italian design houses such as Pininfarina, Bertone, Touring Superleggera and Giugiaro. Alfas from the 1930s and 1940s coachbuilt by Touring also feature in this section, including the Pebble Beach Concours-winning 1938 8C 2900B Touring Berlinetta.

Multiple versions of the Giulia and Giulietta are given prominence in special exhibits in the Beauty section to recognise their significance in Alfa’s history.

In the Speed section of the museum are famous Alfa racing cars, including F1 world championship-winning cars of the 1950s, Mille Miglia and Targa Florio winners, through to its more modern touring cars. 

Our Verdict

Alfa Romeo Giulia

Alfa Romeo and the Giulia name is back, and returned in the shape of a saloon that is determined to disrupt the top order - watch out BMW, Jaguar, Mercedes-Benz and Audi

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Comments
16

6 July 2015
Given the mixed reception the new Giulia has received, I'm not sure now is the right time to be reminding potential customers just how great some Alfas used to look. (We'll draw a veil over the 1980's and the hideous plastic bumpers and side cladding that besmirched some lovely shapes like the Alfetta and GTV.)

6 July 2015
I wouldn't want to be basing a whole relaunch on that one car.

Great photos though that show just how beautiful Alfas once were, that Montreal is amazing.

Hang on to those pics, I fear they might be needed for an Auction catalogue when the receivers are finally called in (cough, Saab).

6 July 2015
Ah the red Giuilia Bertone !
So nice !

6 July 2015
That's the problem with Alfa. Living in its past. By all means have a museum but they must also move on. Who can kid themselves that the Mito is a top choice in its category. The Guiletta is definitely not a Sud (apart from not rusting) but more in the fun category. Anyone seriously believe that the 'cooking' Guilias will seriously rival the Jag XE? No, me neither. I've always loved the marque but the more modern ones just don't cut the mustard (is the Guiletta really a major advance on the 147?).

6 July 2015
Me.

Let's face it, the XE has been given 5 stars in Autocar, notoriously a chauvinist magazine. But in continental Europe all tests have provided average valuations. Promises like lightweight, unfortunately, are not up to expectations. The new engine is quite poor as well. New Alfa has just been shown, and it's been developed in Modena, where they know a thing or two on cars (anyone knows Ferrari?). I am not saying it's going to be better than the 3-series (XE is not relevant at all, let's try to be honest). But I am quite curious to see how it's going to be. Downplaying a brand new car, based on a brand new platform, with brand new engines it's just not a very wise exercise.

7 July 2015
RednBlue wrote:

Promises like lightweight, unfortunately, are not up to expectations. The new engine is quite poor as well... (XE is not relevant at all, let's try to be honest)...

then...

RednBlue wrote:

Downplaying a brand new car, based on a brand new platform, with brand new engines it's just not a very wise exercise.

Quite.

7 July 2015
The XE has been thoroughly tested by all main mags, and especially in continental Europe the outcome wasn't that brilliant as Autocar test would imply. The Giulia is still very much on paper, they've just given us a preview of a show car, or the pick of the range which will be produced in very tiny numbers. We must wait. Having said that, the real and only benchmark n this segment is the 3-series, fullstop.

7 July 2015
RednBlue wrote:

The XE has been thoroughly tested by all main mags, and especially in continental Europe the outcome wasn't that brilliant as Autocar test would imply.

That is rubbish. L'Automobile, for example, have not tested the XE aside from a run in a pre-production prototype. But here's what some of the others said about the car:

Auto Bild wrote:

The new XE all levels were gorgeous design, modern engines, elaborate suspension, great handling, high comfort. In short, a serious alternative to Audi A4, BMW 3 Series and Mercedes C-class.

Car And Driver wrote:

a car this engaging and this capable is now a genuine rarity in this class

RednBlue wrote:

Autocar, notoriously a chauvinist magazine.

In fact, Autocar noted exactly the same faults with the prototype as L'Automobile. Perhaps L'Automobile are "notorious chauvinists" too?

7 July 2015
The XE looks good to me, well in the showroom anyway. You may want to spend over £50k on the new Guilia but most people won't. I wouldn't judge a car by the hottest version available which is all we've been shown. Judging by the photos it doesn't look all that different from a run out BMW 3 Series Sport xdrive I saw in the Bristol showroom (looked hot in red). I know how disappointed I was when I test drove a Guiletta when I bought my last car - it simply wasn't in the ball park. To spec it up would have meant it would nearly have cost as much as the C-Class I eventually bought. I have similar reservations about the new Guilia. I don't doubt that Ferrari know how to build cars. But for the most of us, we aren't buying a Ferrari. The proof of the pudding is in the eating. We'll see how the coking versions stack up.

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