Even the post-war period, when Alfa Romeo became a mid-market premium brand, saw some triumphs too. The company turned more affordable still with the standard-setting 1971 Alfasud, the Giulietta’s lineal ancestor that would be succeeded by the 33 (the highest selling Alfa ever), the 145/146 and the 147.
The Giulietta name made its debut in 1954, on an exquisitely pretty coupé that was a precursor to the ’55 Giulietta saloon. The Giulietta is a vital model for Alfa Romeo, whose annual global sales had sunk to little more than 100,000 units before the Mito supermini’s arrival, a financially unviable number.
And the Giulietta’s so-called Compact platform is equally crucial to Fiat Auto as a whole, as it is providing the basis for mid-market Fiats, Lancias, Chryslers, Dodges and numerous spin-off models. So it needs to be good. The Giulietta – and most of those siblings – will compete in the biggest segment in Europe and, if it succeeds, form the bedrock of Alfa’s business.