In the dynamic world of automobiles, promises of technological innovation are often greeted with enthusiasm. In 2018, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) had raised expectations by announcing that future models ofAlfa Romeo and Maserati will be launched with plug-in hybrid (PHEV) technology. This announcement included the long-awaited Alfieri model, scheduled for 2020. At the time, the project seemed perfectly in tune with ecological trends and growing environmental demands.
In 2023, however, the landscape is very different. Apart from the Alfa Romeo Tonale, no other Alfa Romeo or Maserati has adopted PHEV technology.. This absence is all the more surprising given that we have it on good authority that development of the Stelvio in a PHEV version was underway in 2018 and 2019. This technological gap is not without consequences: the current models of these brands bear the full brunt of the impact of the ecological malus.a handicap that PHEV technology could have alleviated.
The question is: Why has this technology, which seems so obvious in today's world, never been fully integrated into Alfa Romeo and Maserati? Several hypotheses can be envisaged. Firstly, the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020 led to a massive investment freeze in many sectors, including the automotive industry. This global health crisis may have played a role in slowing or halting PHEV developments.
Another possibility is that the merger announced at the end of 2019 between FCA and the PSA Group may also have influenced this strategic decision. In the twists and turns of corporate mergers, many projects can be reconsidered, delayed or cancelled. It is possible that a decision was taken at this level to put the brakes on PHEV developments at Alfa Romeo and Maserati.
Meanwhile, other sports car manufacturers, such as Ferrari with its SF90 and 296, and more recently Lamborghini with its Revuelto V12 PHEV and future Huracan V8 PHEV, have proved that PHEV technology is not only compatible but also advantageous for sports cars. These models are likely to raise questions within Alfa Romeo and Maserati.
Although the exact reasons for the absence of PHEV technology at Alfa Romeo and Maserati remain unclear, it is clear that this decision has significant repercussions on their market positioning.
But that's all in the past. Today, only the Tonale is available as a PHEV, and both brands are taking the risky gamble of straddling two technologies: internal combustion engines, which will be taxed more and more each year in every country, and 100 % electric engines, which still have everything to prove...