Publication date: 10 July 2024
Alfa Romeo Junior

Alfa Romeo Junior

Young in spirit, great in deeds

Review - Afla Romeo led a languishing existence. It offered only a few models and these mainly used outdated technology. This should now change with the electric-powered "Junior". The Junior should revive the Alfa Romeo brand and revive its sporty image. Can the Junior deliver?

Alfa Romeo had another problem. Not only did it offer models with outdated technology, Alfa Romeo is part of Stellantis, which also includes Fiat, Lancia and Abarth. Alfa Romeo must therefore differentiate itself from the existing offerings without detracting from its stablemates. Alfa Romeo therefore opts for sportiness combined with everyday practicality. This is already evident in the design, as Alfa Romeo has cleverly used the Junior's dimensions. Thanks to its lines, the car does not look compact, but instead stocky and muscular.

Alfa Romeo Junior

Space and equipment

In the interior, dark materials set the tone. The "Veloce" version driven here has bucket seats with a deep seat and plenty of lateral support. Due to the shape of the front seats, legroom in the rear is slim. At 400 litres, the boot is above average for a car of this size. Insufficient space remains under the bonnet for a second storage space ("frunk"). There is, however, a handy tray that fits a charging cable exactly. This is very cleverly done and is sure to find its way into other Stellantis cars.

Alfa Romeo Junior
Alfa Romeo Junior

With its design and style, the Junior manages to stand out well. However, the equipment is similar to that of other Stellantis products. Only the logos and the graphics on the display screen have changed. The audio, communication and sat nav system is good, but not remarkable. So are the (mandatory) safety features. Unfortunately, the test car had several rattles and despite previous, undoubtedly wild, test drives, this should not be the case.

Electric car

The Junior comes as a hybrid and an all-electric car. During development, the electric Junior in its sportiest form formed the starting point. The other versions are therefore derived from the top version and not the other way around, as is the case with most other brands. The "Veloce" version was the first to enter production and reviewed for this occasion.

Because Alfa Romeo had to use a standard platform from Stellantis, front-wheel drive was the default choice. However, according to engineers, this is an advantage because an electric car brakes more often on the electric motor (and thus recovers energy) than with the mechanical brakes. At that point, the car leans forward, which Alfa Romeo says creates extra pressure and thus grip on the front wheels. To achieve the desired power output, a new electric motor has been developed for the Veloce. Because of front-wheel drive, it is then coupled to a "TorSen D" mechanical limited slip differential to actually harness that power (280 hp / 345 Nm). Thus, the wheel with the most grip also gets the most drive power.

Alfa Romeo Junior

Like the Alfa Romeo's of the (recent) past, the Junior also has a so-called "DNA" button, which can be used to choose between a dynamic, neutral or economic character. And as before, the differences between those modes are significant. In efficient mode, performance is already ample and energy consumption is around 16.5 kWh per 100 km. That puts the range at around 400 km. In standard mode, liveliness increases and it is noticeable that the air conditioning gets more clout. As the test took place in very hot weather, this was pleasant. By selecting the automatic's B-mode, the Junior gains back some energy when releasing the throttle. The speed then hardly decreases and therefore driving with one pedal is unfortunately not possible.


So much for the standard ride. Because if the Veloce is one thing it is not, it is standard. This top-of-the-range version delivers performance that wouldn't be out of place on a racetrack, which is precisely why most of the miles were driven there. Yet that performance drive is not immediately apparent, because even in dynamic mode the power builds disappointingly calmly. There are two reasons for this. The real savage will be the Abarth 600, which will use the same technology. More importantly, however, the Junior should also be usable on a daily basis and wants to make sporty driving easy for everyone. A car that reacts too eagerly to the power pedal easily becomes unbalanced and thus less easy for beginners to drive. And rest assured: once the Junior Veloce delivers full power, this is an excitingly fast car. Although the sprint from 0 to 100 km/h in 6 seconds is less impressive, the intermediate sprints certainly are.

Alfa Romeo Junior

To add to the revelry, there's an artificial engine noise that does not sound like a combustion engine for a change. The Junior lets out a modest, sci-fi-like hum that adds intensity to the experience but is not tiresome. This is therefore the first electric car whose test driver did not turn off the artificial engine noise.


Most electric cars have the same, stately handling because they have a high weight and low centre of gravity due to the batteries in the floor. To give the Junior a sporty character, Alfa Romeo has done a lot of work on weight reduction. At 1,560 kg, the Junior weighs the same as a comparable hybrid!

Alfa Romeo Junior

Thereby, the Veloce version has sports-tuned springs (lowered by 25 mm), dampers, steering, tyres and brakes. Thanks to extra crossbars, the Veloce is also firmer (for sharper steering response). The Veloce thus drives very differently from the other versions. On public roads, the suspension is firm, not harsh (again: that's what the Abarth 600 is for). The steering is alert and that, together with the relatively low weight, makes the car lively. More importantly, it makes the Veloce challenging!

Give in to that and the Veloce rewards behaviour with dynamism and vigour. Thanks to its relatively low weight, low centre of gravity, advanced suspension and limited-slip differential, the limits are very far. Moreover, all these modifications ensure that the Junior retains grip even on poor road surfaces and in the hands of less skillful drivers. Thanks to the technology, communication between car and driver is good, which in turn makes for a more intense experience!

Alfa Romeo Junior


Can the Junior resurrect the Alfa Romeo brand? Despite an intense test drive, the answer to that question remains to be seen. The best-selling versions will be the standard electric Junior and the hybrid. This test is based on the extremely sporty Junior Veloce, which is mainly a hero model, not a version that will sell in large numbers. Moreover, the Veloce is so heavily tuned for sportiness that its driving characteristics are very different from the regular Junior.

Based on to the top model, the first signs are more than positive. The design is a bold, modern interpretation of Alfa Romeo's classic style. Despite the modern lines and the new shape (a crossover), the desirability of an Alfa Romeo has been retained. Thanks to hybrid and all-electric propulsion, the Junior offers the modern technology the brand so desperately needed.

As a Veloce, a huge dose of vigour is added. The performance of the new electric motor is very good and, thanks to a limited slip differential, power can be harnessed almost with impunity. A lightweight build and an advanced chassis ensure excellent handling. In short: The Junior is not a worthy successor to the classic Alfa Romeo's despite the new approach, it is even better thanks to modern technology.

  • Excellent handling
  • Very fast yet sporty
  • Moderate space in the rear
  • Test car not free of rattles