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Alfa Romeo Ditches Side-Mounted License Plates, Embraces Closed Grille

  • Alfa Romeo design boss confirmed they will abandon offset plates due to pedestrian safety regulations
  • Alejandro Mesonero-Romanos said that future models will wear a new scudetto grille, which will be covered with logo-inspired graphics
  • The design of the next-gen Giulia and Stelvio has been signed off, with the designer describing the Giulia as a “super-cool coupe”

Alfa Romeo is saying goodbye to their distinctive offset front license plates on future models. This change comes in response to stricter pedestrian safety regulations. Additionally, upcoming Alfa Romeo EVs, including the next Giulia and Stelvio, will adopt a blocked version of the iconic scudetto grille with 3D graphics, similar to the recently unveiled Tonale.

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Alejandro Mesonero-Romanos, Alfa Romeo’s design chief, explained, “We cannot put the number plate on the side any more because of the homologation regulations for pedestrian safety”. The Spanish designer, who previously worked on cars for Renault and Seat before joining the Italian marque in 2021, remarked, “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.”

More: Last Call For V6 Clover! Alfa Giulia And Stelvio Quadrifoglio Super Sport End US Run

The offset license plates were initially a design solution by Alfa Romeo to maintain the uninterrupted lines of their iconic grille. The concept first appeared on the elegant Giulietta Spider in 1955. In subsequent decades, mainstream models from the ’70s, ’80s, and ’90s featured centrally-mounted license plates due to narrower grilles that accommodated bulkier bumpers.

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However, the trend re-surged with the acclaimed 156 sedan in 1997 and has been a consistent feature on all Alfa Romeo models since then—until the introduction of the brand-new Junior subcompact SUV.

Speaking to Autocar, Mesonero-Romanos acknowledged the importance of the styling feature to some fans: “Some die-hard Alfisti, who think an Alfa Romeo isn’t an Alfa Romeo unless it has the number plate 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.”

Blocked Grilles With Logo-Inspired Graphics

 Alfa Romeo Ditches Side-Mounted License Plates, Embraces Closed Grille

Alfa Romeo Tonale (left) and Junior (right)

Shifting the license plates to a central position entails further adjustments to the front-end design of upcoming Alfa Romeos. Mesonero-Romanos disclosed that the next iteration of the Giulia, Stelvio, and subsequent models will showcase a “fresh interpretation” of the iconic scudetto grille.

The designer affirmed that the grille will be solid, showcasing logo-inspired 3D graphics akin to the EV version of the Alfa Romeo Junior: “Putting the logo in a big size shows we are proud of it, and it’s a modern interpretation graphically, it’s pretty strong to have it in a big size.”

As for the functionality of the grille, he said: “With Alfa function and design always go together – the next generation of cars will have a closed logo because they will be electric cars, and we cannot have the function of the Scudetto as it was when it was conceived.”

Alfa Romeo has confirmed that the new Stelvio will debut in 2025, followed by the Giulia sedan in 2026. Both will ride on the same STLA Large platform using fully electric powertrains. Mesonero-Romanos said that the design of the models has already been “finalized and signed-off”.

Regarding the next generation of the Giulia, the design boss teased, “It’s what people would expect from a Giulia in terms of sportiness, with a super-cool coupe – and I won’t reveal anything else for now.”

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 Alfa Romeo Ditches Side-Mounted License Plates, Embraces Closed Grille

Alfa Romeo Junior

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