Alfa Romeo design design boss Alejandro Mesonero-Romanos has suggested his firm could make a luxury MPV.
The remark came in a discussion with Autocar that started off about the new 33 Stradale supercar but detoured via Alfa’s once popular commercial van, the Autotutto/Romeo.
“It was beautiful,” he said, before adding: “By the way, you wouldn’t be surprised if this returned one day.” It might be just a tease, but it’s also not such a crazy idea.
MPVs are becoming hot property again, due mainly to their popularity in China, where the space they offer is seen to be as much of a luxury feature as multiple screens or high-end stereos.
Volvo is preparing its first MPV (the EM90), Volkswagen is doing well with the ID Buzz, Mercedes has the V-Class, Hyundai has the ultra-stylish Staria and Lexus is bringing its opulent new LM to Europe.
Many Chinese brands, including those owned by giants BYD, Geely and SAIC, have their own takes on the format. Alfa Romeo has been there before: from 1954 to 1983, it sold a passenger version of its van by the name of Promiscuo.
It was on the market for so long that it remains Alfa’s bestselling vehicle, as Autocar was reminded (without prompting) by CEO Jean-Philippe Imparato.
Clearly, Alfa has vans on the mind… If it were to return to the sector, Alfa surely wouldn’t simply rebadge the Vauxhall Vivaro. More likely it would base its MPV on Stellantis’s STLA Large platform and add all the luxury trimmings, and it would probably also go round corners with a touch more verve than the LM.
As Alfa looks to broaden its base beyond Europe, a China-focused MPV might be just the entry ticket, along with the planned large SUV from 2027.