In China, the market for luxurious minivans is steadily growing. Buick offers the GL8, Lexus has the LM, and soon Volvo will introduce the EM90 to the high-end MPV segment. Moreover, the new Toyota Century SUV features van-like sliding doors. Expanding its customer base, Alfa Romeo is looking to capitalize on this trend, especially since it now has the financial backing of parent company Stellantis.
During a conversation with Autocar magazine, Alfa Romeo design chief Alejandro Mesonero-Romanos mentioned the possibility of the Autotutto making a comeback. He described it as a beautiful vehicle and hinted that it might not be such a crazy idea. Although it seems that a minivan is being considered, it has not yet received approval for production.
Interestingly, Alfa Romeo had a van in the past known as the Autotutto. It was marketed as the Alfa Romeo Romeo from 1954 to 1966 before being replaced by the F12 and A12 vans. Although if a modern-day successor were to be produced, it would likely be electric due to the automotive industry’s focus on electric vehicles. However, the original Autotutto offered various engine options, including a supercharged two-cylinder diesel and a detuned Twin Cam gasoline unit.
The Autotutto came in several configurations to meet different needs, such as a commercial van, double-cab pickup, drop-side truck, high-roof van, and the Promiscuo van with additional seats and windows. Additionally, there were school buses, minibuses, and ambulances. Coachbuilding companies also created custom versions. Approximately 23,000 units were manufactured during its 12-year production run, with the Romeo 3 being the rarest version, as it was only produced for six months in 1966.
Despite the possibility of a new Alfa Romeo van, the brand’s main focus is on other projects at the moment. In 2024, Alfa Romeo will launch a sub-Tonale small crossover, followed by electric replacements for the Giulia and Stelvio later in the decade. Additionally, a larger SUV targeting the United States market is scheduled for 2027, and there are rumors of the 4C returning as an electric sports car. Furthermore, a new supercar, succeeding the iconic 33 Stradale, is currently in development.
Stellantis is not only investing in Alfa Romeo’s revival but also in another troubled Italian brand, Lancia. Additionally, Fiat’s performance division Abarth will receive new products, starting with the 500e hot hatch.