FCA could learn something from the 1972 Alfetta, but it’s probably a bit late for that now.
While FCA’s Italian engineers have undoubtedly being imbibing industrial quantities of Alfa lore as they develop their forthcoming saloon, they’re unlikely to have this print ad posted up on their mood board. Perhaps they should, because journalistic hyperbole aside, it illustrates as eloquently as anything I can say not only how far Alfa Romeo has fallen since the early 1970’s, but how steep a climb FCA’s engineers now face.
In less than two months time, FCA will pull the wraps off the first of the new generation of Alfa Romeo saloons aimed at a global audience. There’s a lot riding on it being a stylistic success as well as a critical one, but of course, the ultimate arbiter will be whether it’s also a commercial one. As the first rear-wheel drive Alfa Romeo saloon since the 75, the shadow of the Alfa’s past looms large over the new car’s prospects. It’s easy to forget how well received the Alfetta was in 1974. Or indeed how quickly critical acclaim can morph into disillusionment and apathy.
In a few weeks time we may find out what the new Alfa looks like, and for those of us who retain affection for the marque, we can only hope it honours the Alfetta’s abilities without cleaving to its lacklustre commercial career. If this car fails, it will take most of FCA with it.