Maybe the Italians Will Let Alfa Romeo Use the Milano Name for a Virtual Cabrio-SUV?

Alfa Romeo Milano Cabrio rendering by KDesign AG 9 photos
Photo: KDesign AG / Behance
Alfa Romeo Milano Cabrio rendering by KDesign AGAlfa Romeo Milano Cabrio rendering by KDesign AGAlfa Romeo Milano Cabrio rendering by KDesign AGAlfa Romeo Milano Cabrio rendering by KDesign AGAlfa Romeo Milano Cabrio rendering by KDesign AGAlfa Romeo Milano Cabrio rendering by KDesign AGAlfa Romeo Milano Cabrio rendering by KDesign AGAlfa Romeo Milano Cabrio rendering by KDesign AG
In a weird turn of events, Alfa Romeo's launch of its first-ever all-electric vehicle, a subcompact crossover SUV, was eclipsed by controversy – over its styling, over its production location, and ultimately over its name, too!
Introduced with much fanfare on April 10 as the Alfa Romeo Milano, this little CUV was intended as the cool replacement for the MiTo three-door hatchback in the same segment and also a spiritual successor to the compact Giulietta at the same time. It has major connections through the same STLA Small (e-CMP2) platform with the Jeep Avenger and Fiat 600 but also the Peugeot 208 and 2008 II, Opel Corsa F, Lancia Ypsilon IV, DS 3 Crossback, and Opel Mokka B.

While initially offered with exclusive all-electric power – and up to 237 ponies in Elettrica Veloce guise – the little CUV will eventually have options for mild hybrid gasoline engines in addition to the dual-motor AWD launch guise. While the Alfa Romeo Milano/Junior Elettrica (electric) has interesting capabilities thanks to the 54-kWh battery pack and 255-mile (410 km) range, it's not the technical aspects that fascinate the most.

Instead, the model immediately sparked controversy because of the styling, which looks different from the Tonale, Giulia, and Stelvio and reinterprets the classic Alfa Romeo grille and badge in a very different way. Secondly, some voices cried outrage that Stellantis is building the little CUV alongside the Jeep Avenger and Fiat 600 at the Tichy plant in Poland rather than at home in Italy, as the initial Milano name would suggest. Thirdly, in a rather unprecedented move, even the Italian authorities intervened, saying it may be illegal to build it in Poland and that it shouldn't even bear the Milano name. As such, five days and a lot of publicity later, Alfa Romeo conceded and begrudgingly changed the model's name from Milano to Junior.

Curiously, this is not the first time the Italian carmaker attempted to use the nameplate styled after the city of Milan – it also wanted to nickname the 147 replacement but ultimately changed its mind at the last minute and went with Giulietta. Now, any publicity is good publicity, of course. So, the imaginative realm of digital car content creators has come up with a clever way to come back to the original Alfa Romeo Milano branding instead of Junior – a hypothetical Cabrio-SUV version with no roof and just three doors could be produced in Italy to satisfy the officials and ask for a much higher MSRP at the same time.

The idea comes from Kleber Silva, a Brazil-based virtual artist known as KDesign AG on social media, who has decided to have a CGI go at imagining a roofless Alfa Romeo Milano/Junior – or maybe he just didn't want to update the plates to reflect the controversial name change. Anyway, as far as we can tell, the new styling deployed by Alfa works even better on a three-door, high-riding cabriolet if you want our two cents on the matter. What do you think?
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About the author: Aurel Niculescu
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Aurel has aimed high all his life (literally, at 16 he was flying gliders all by himself) so in 2006 he switched careers and got hired as a writer at his favorite magazine. Since then, his work has been published both by print and online outlets, most recently right here, on autoevolution.
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