Alfa Romeo: "Customers Want a Mechanical Car With Minimal Electrical Interference."

TTAC Staff
by TTAC Staff
alfa romeo customers want a mechanical car with minimal electrical interference

From remarks by Alfa Romeo executives it appears that the Fiat owned brand is going to distinguish itself from competitors by what it doesn’t plan to offer: advanced electronic aids that could possibly interfere with the emotional part of driving enjoyment. Maurizio Consalvo, in charge of product planning for Alfa Romeo was quoted in Autocar as saying, “Customers want a mechanical car with minimal electrical interference.” In addition Alfa Romeo’s head of marketing, Alberto Cavaggioni, said that the brand’s commitment to drivers’ emotional connection to their cars means that it may not offer some advanced safety features like autonomous emergency braking. Cavaggioni said, “We can look at our cars from an emotional point of view or from a technical point of view. We give the Alfisti all that’s needed [in electronic aids], but not more. At Alfa we give the maximum fun to drivers. We don’t put safety into the discussion, apart from our NCAP scores.”

While other European manufacturers like Volvo, Mercedes and Volkswagen are developing and promoting electronic driving and safety aids that can control the car without driver input, Alfa wants to retain its reputation as a driver’s car. At the same time, due to economies of scale and common sourcing of components, the brand will likely offer at least some electronic features as blind-spot monitoring, rear parking sensors and the like that are offered by Fiat’s other brands including Chrysler.

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  • Jpolicke Jpolicke on Oct 28, 2013

    Given all the equipment that is now mandatory, there isn't much Alfa can get away with leaving out. Sooner or later some kind of backup sensor device will be mandated, so that leaves blind spot warning, active cruise, and nav.

    • LeMansteve LeMansteve on Oct 28, 2013

      +1 "Customers Want a Mechanical Car With Minimal Electrical Interference” It's all relative. Compared to a 1990s Alfa, today's most basic Alfas are supercomputers. Probably what the quote means is, their customers don't want electrical systems that don't contribute to and/or interfere with the pure performance of the car. Examples given are blind spot monitoring and rear-view cameras. Also I suspect most customers will forget the numerous performance contributions made possible by way of "electronic interference": fuel injection, electronic throttle with variable mapping ("sport button"), variable valve timing and lift, variable-length intake runners, magnetorheological dampers, etc, etc, etc. I am not familiar with Alfa models, but I wouldn't be surprised if at least half of these features find their way into their performance models.

  • Morea Morea on Oct 28, 2013

    Consalvo is only saying what many Alfisti are asking for so give him credit for listening to his customers. Whether there are enough Alfisti worldwide to support the marque is an open question. They really only want one gadget-free sports sedan to make them happy, Alfa can fill out the rest of the line-up with gadget-filled cars for everyone else. @djn No radio needed, just listen to the engine. Also, ABS is suspect since you can't modulate brake force near lock up without the stupid ABS nanny interfering. "Sorry, Dave, I am afraid I can't let you late brake into that corner. It is for your own good."

    • See 2 previous
    • Morea Morea on Oct 30, 2013

      @Morea Here ya go: "Data Shows Google’s Robot Cars Are Smoother, Safer Drivers Than You or I Tests of Google’s autonomous vehicles in California and Nevada suggests they already outperform human drivers." http://www.technologyreview.com/news/520746/data-shows-googles-robot-cars-are-smoother-safer-drivers-than-you-or-i/

  • Carlisimo Carlisimo on Oct 28, 2013

    "Alfa wants to retain its reputation as a driver’s car." What reputation? For years now, they've had a reputation for making cars that don't do anything very well besides look nice.

    • Corey Lewis Corey Lewis on Oct 29, 2013

      They've been sinking into irrelevance since about 1998. They're just a play thing for Fiat, who will eventually drop them, or make them a trim package of other Fiat sports models.

  • Walker42 Walker42 on Oct 28, 2013

    I love this! Go even more retro and give us some windows and pillars we can see out of.

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