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By Charl Bosch

Motoring Journalist

Alfa Romeo Milano makes dramatic return as hybrid or electric SUV

Milano name returns after a 33-year hiatus on Alfa Romeo's smallest SUV and indirect replacement for the MiTo.

Alfa Romeo has officially ended more than three years of speculative reports and a comparatively short teaser campaign by removing the wraps off of the all-new Milano as its smallest SUV, and also first to offer a fully electric powertrain.

Long awaited triplet

Reviving a name last used in 1992 for the North American version of the 75 sedan, the Milano becomes Alfa’s version of the Jeep Avenger and Fiat 600e as a result of riding on the same electrified e-CMP platform rather than on one of parent company Stellantis’ newer STLA architectures.

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Rumoured back in 2021 as heading for production in 2023 below the still-born Tonale, the Milano indirectly replaces the MiTo as Alfa Romeo’s smallest model with dimensions of 4 170 mm in overall length, a height of 1 500 mm and width of 1 780 mm. No wheelbase figure was revealed.

Long believed to be called Brennero in reference to the Brenner mountain pass in the Italian Alps similar to the Stelvio, the confirmation of the Milano name in December last year offered little in the way of other details, bar the availability of both electric and hybrid powertrains.

Alfa’s future look?

Debuting an unnamed styling language only described as providing the “perfect balance between functional beauty and an unparalleled heritage”, the Milano sports a silhouette, unsurprisingly, more compact than the Tonale with E-shaped Matrix LED headlights, a honeycomb pattern lower air intake and the biscione logo etched onto the back section of the grille.

Alfa Romeo finally revealed as brand's smallest SUV
Styling language more than likely will feature on the next generation Stelvio and Giulia. Image: Alfa Romeo

The latter also found in the traditional design on top of the bonnet, the side profile involves an upwards shoulder line along the rear doors, as well as the now trademark hidden door handles integrated into the C-pillar.

Mounted on alloy wheels ranging from 18-inches to 20-inches on the flagship Speciale, the rear adopts a design claimed to have been inspired by the Giulia TZ, but also from the SZ in the guise of the LED 3+3 light clusters.

Drive to the front or all four wheels

Said to have undergone extensive testing at Alfa Romeo’s Balocco testing facility, the Milano’s chassis alternations include the fitting of a Torsen limited slip differential and, in the case of the Veloce situated below the Speciale, a sport suspension with a 25 mm ride height drop, retuned steering and suspension, different anti-roll bars and monobloc brake calipers comprising a four-piston design at the front with 380 mm sized discs.

Alfa Romeo finally revealed as brand's smallest SUV
Boot can accommodate 400-littes with the rear seats up. Image: Alfa Romeo

While still included, the DNA mode selector has been altered to include three settings; Normal, Dynamic and the renamed Advanced Efficiency.

In a further departure from the Avenger and 600/600e, the Milano comes with the option of all-wheel-drive in the shape of the Q4, which gets its own setting on the DNA selector of the same name.

Inside a preview of next generation Alfas

Departing from the exterior, the interior adopts a more restrained look, though still provides a likely preview of what to expect from the next Giulia and Stelvio due in 2025 and in 2026 respectively.

Alfa Romeo finally reveals all-new Milano SUV
Interior not as dramatic as the exterior, but still a step-up from that of the Giulia and Stelvio. Image: Alfa Romeo

Partially inspired by Tonale, the Milano retains the periscope design for the 10.25-inch digital instrument cluster, but with the addition of a new steering wheel, a slim centre console and a new 10.25-inch infotainment system with Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, integrated satellite navigation and ChatGPT.

Fitted with Sabelt sport seats from the start, notable other specification items are Alcantara or fabric upholsteries, ambient lighting, a wireless smartphone charger and a clutch safety and driver assistance system capable of Level 2 autonomous driving where allowed.

Alfa Romeo finally reveals all-new Milano SUV
Periscope design has been kept for the 10.25-inch instrument cluster. Image: Alfa Romeo.

On the practicality side, the Milano’s boot accommodates 400-litres with the rear seats in place, while in electric versions, the various charging cables moves to a specially designed storage hold underneath the bonnet.

Not just electric

Up front, the choice of powertrains spans a single electric and mild-hybrid option, the former in two states of tuning.

Only expected to arrive next year, the latter combines the 1.2-litre PureTech turbocharged three-cylinder petrol with a 48-volt system, plus a 21 kW electric motor integrated into the six-speed dual-clutch gearbox.

Producing 100 kW, the hybrid will have front-wheel-drive as standard, or as an option, the mentioned Q4 all-wheel-drive system.

Alfa Romeo finally reveals all-new Milano SUV
Seats are trimmed in Alcantara on the depicted flagship Speciale. Image: Alfa Romeo

Similar to both the Avenger and 600e, the entry-level electric Milano produces 115 kW thanks a 54-kWh lithium-ion battery pack that supports DC charging up to 100 kW.

According to Alfa Romeo, the claimed range is 410 km with a waiting time of 29 minutes from 10-80% using the fast charging network. The supplied on-board charger is an 11 kW outlet.

Sitting atop the range, the Milano Veloce will only be sold as an EV with the same 177 kW as the incoming Abarth 600e. No other details related to it was, however, disclosed.

Completing the range, the Speciale will derive motivation from either the hybrid or lesser-powered electric module, but without any gains in power or range.

Unlikely for South Africa for now

Going on-sale in Europe from the third quarter of the year with pricing still to be announced, the Milano remains unconfirmed for South Africa and will most likely only be considered for introduction with the arrival of hybrid if on the radar at all of Stellantis South Africa.

Additional information from carscoops.com.

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