The storied Italian automaker celebrates its upcoming birthday with a look at the past, present and future.
Alfa Romeo turns 110 years old on June 24, 2020. As an early birthday gift to itself, the brand has crafted a heritage package, headlined by an interactive e-book. The digital tome features plenty of photos and information from the Museo Storica Alfa Romeo, the brand’s recently renovated museum in Arese, Italy.
Alfa started as just that—A.L.F.A., or (Società) Anonima Lombarda Fabbrica Automobili—in Milan in 1910. The Romeo portion of its name came a decade later, to reflect new owner Nicola Romeo, who bought a majority of the brand in 1915. The first car to bear the new name was the 1921 Torpedo 20–30. It was around the same time a 22-year old driver joined the Alfa racing squad. His name? Enzo Ferrari.
The e-book covers these early days, including the formation of the Scuderia Ferrari team. It explains the origins of that unmistakeable logo—the emblem of Milan on the left, the “Biscione Visconteo” Visconti family coat of arms on the other—as well. Alongside Ferrari, names like Nuvolari, Ascari, and Fangio are peppered throughout.
The 79-page e-book doesn’t skip out on the modern times, either. Both of the current Quadrifoglio models, the Stelvio and Giulia, get their due digital ink. Alfa gave the whole Giulia and Stelvio ranges a freshening-up for the 2020 model year, with new colors, better infotainment, and in the case of the Giulia, a hardcore, limited-edition GTA model. The GTA badge has traditionally been reserved for only the highest-performing Alfas of their time. True to tradition, the Giulia GTA has dropped 220 lb from its curb weight, and bumped power from its Ferrari-designed turbo V6 to 540 hp.
It ends on the future: the Tonale compact-crossover concept of 2019. The sharply-styled little soft-roader will be the brand’s first hybrid, but it promises the Tonale will still offer enthusiast fun.
Lorenzo Ardizio, the curator at Museo Storica Alfa Romeo, shares his picks of the most important models in the brand’s history in the book. During a virtual meeting with the press, Ardizio was asked what sets Alfa Romeo apart from other Italian brands. “Alfa is inclusive, it’s a brand people recognize,” said Ardizio. “You’re not buying a product if you’re a fan—you’re buying the actual cars.”
We see Ardizio’s point: an interactive e-book is an inclusive move during these times. It does make us want to visit the actual Museo, though. No matter. Buon compleanno, Alfa!