Alfa Romeo. A brand that I’ve had a love affair with since I turned 12 and started watching the famed Top Gear. Everyone will remember the famous words, “You can’t be a true petrolhead until you’ve owned an Alfa Romeo,” and so at 19 years old I bought my very first Alfa. It was a lovely white 147 with a black contrast roof and rock metal grey alloys. I thought it was the most beautiful car I had ever seen. I spent a grand total of £2750 on my slice of Italian excellence. However, over the two years of ownership, I spent nearly £5000 keeping it on the road - which wouldn’t be something that surprises many people.
My love affair grew when I came out of university and I went to work for Alfa Romeo and Jeep as a Salesman. During my time here I got to drive the new Guilia, saw the new Stelvio come in and my personal favourite, I became a specialist in the 4C. All of these cars had one thing in common, they all stirred emotions in the way they looked and the way they drove and they have all stayed true to the Alfa Romeo slogan, “La meccanica delle emozioni” or literally translated to ‘The mechanics of emotions. ‘
Now most will know that Alfa Romeo are owned by Fiat and Chrysler (FCA), who have just invested £23 million into their development and test centre in Michigan. They have done this to prepare the centre for the development of FCA’s new autonomous vehicles. The developments include an autonomous highway speed track with obstacles, tunnels and varying road and lighting conditions to assist the upcoming development.
This comes as a shock to the system that at some point in the near future, there could be a self-driving Alfa Romeo. This is something that scares me a little. In keeping with the times, will Alfa Romeo’s lose what make them so special? I hope not.
Fiat Chrysler Automobiles US has invested more than £23 million at its Chelsea Proving Grounds in southeast Michigan, to further the development and testing of autonomous vehicle and advanced safety technologies.