Alfa Romeo to ditch famous off-set numberplates due to EU rule change

  • Next generation Alfa Romeos will switch to centrally-mounted plates
  • EU has tweaked its rules regarding crash protection for pedestrians
  • Off-set plates have been a feature on Alfas since the 1950s

Time 1:06 pm, May 29, 2024

The next generation of Alfa Romeo models will ditch off-set front numberplates due to new EU pedestrian safety regulations.

The Italian brand has often mounted front numberplates to one side on the bumper to allow its famous ‘scudetto’ grille to be more visible.

The tradition began with the 1955 Giulietta Spider and has followed through to Alfa’s current range of models, however the styling quirk will now be abandoned.

The next Stelvio SUV and Giulia saloon are expected to be revealed next year and 2026, respectively, and will feature centrally-mounted numberplates.

Alfa has already previewed the change with the new Junior electric crossover.

Speaking to Autocar, design chief Alejandro Mesonero-Romanos said: ‘We cannot put the number plate on the side any more because of the homologation regulations for pedestrian [safety].’

The change has already appeared on the new Junior crossover

He added: ‘Some die-hard Alfisti, who think an Alfa Romeo isn’t an Alfa Romeo unless it has the numberplate on the side won’t be happy, but there are plenty of beautiful Alfa Romeos in history which have the number plate in the middle: I own an Alfetta and a 1968 Giulia which have a central plate and look beautiful.

‘This will allow us to have symmetry anyway, so I am happy – I’m one of the guys who likes the plate in the middle’

The change is necessary for the carmaker to comply with revisions made to the European Union’s new General Safety Regulations, which seek to better protect pedestrians in the case they are hit by a car.

The next Giulia and Stelvio models will use parent firm Stellantis’s new STLA large electric car platform. They will be core to Stellantis’s plan to see Alfa Romeo become its premium sporting marque within its portfolio of brands.

James Batchelor's avatar

James – or Batch as he’s known – started at Car Dealer in 2010, first as the work experience boy, eventually becoming editor in 2013. He worked for Auto Express as editor-at-large and was the face of Carbuyer’s YouTube reviews. In 2020, he went freelance and now writes for a number of national titles and contributes regularly to Car Dealer. In October 2021 he became Car Dealer's associate editor.

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