Alfa Romeo Junior

Alfa Romeo Junior front corner from high
Alfa Romeo Junior front corner from high

The weight of expectation dangles ominously from the fearsome jaws of Alfa Romeo’s serpent mascot. Make no bones about it: of all the cars charged with revitalising the Italian firm’s fortunes over the past few decades, this fashion-first but family-friendly B-segment crossover must surely – surely – be the car that does it.

But to succeed where so many have valiantly failed in an attempt to dramatically swell the company’s coffers, not only does the Alfa Romeo Junior Eletricca have to be a pretty decent EV – touting all the requisite range, efficiency and charging specs to put it on a par with its increasingly numerous rivals – but it must, first and foremost, be an Alfa Romeo.

It’s logical, then, that our first acquaintance comes at the venerable Balocco proving ground between Milan and Turin, where we’ve previously clipped apexes and exposed tyre cords in the likes of the Giulia Quadrifoglio, 8C Competizione, 4C and SZ.


We are at the test track mainly because the car is still not fully homologated but you could interpret it as a testament to the engineers’ confidence in the Junior’s propensity to entertain, and small wonder given that many of them were pulled straight onto the development programme from fine-tuning the rip-snorting, trackhoned Giulia GTA. Not that anyone at Alfa, perhaps understandably, has gone so far as to invite direct comparisons between the two.

It’s also an obvious statement of intent. It might be Alfa’s first electric car but the Junior shares its fundamentals with a whole host of similarly conceived small EVs from Peugeot, Vauxhall, Citroën, Fiat and Jeep - and we didn’t glean our first impressions of any of them on a circuit. But there are some crucial and wide-reaching differences to consider here.

As one executive we spoke to put it: “a platform is not just everything beneath the badge”. So while the Junior is dimensionally and proportionally a close match for the Avenger and 600, for example, it’s far more homegrown than you might expect - particularly in the case of the hot Veloce range-topper we’ve driven here. Reassuring given the heaps of praise that were markedly not heaped upon the Stellantis-platformed Tonale for its handling credentials.