Alfa Romeo has abandoned plans to build two new sports cars and is poised to end production of its two-seat 4C Spider sports car.
The storied Italian marque previously laid out plans for a range of new models including a two-seat 8C supercar and two-door, four-seat GTV coupe to tempt enthusiasts into dealerships.
But the brand confirmed earlier this month that those cars have been cancelled as Alfa Romeo joins rivals in focusing on eco-minded electrification and high-riding SUVs.
Now the brand’s current 4C sports car is on thin ice, with the French edition of Motor1 reporting production of the carbon fibre Spider has ceased.
Alfa Romeo’s Australian arm declined to comment on the fate of the 4C.
The 4C led a modern resurgence for Alfa Romeo. Before it arrived, the manufacturer only offered a pair of unremarkable hatchbacks in the compact MiTo and Corolla-sized Giulietta.
Bouncing back under the eye of the late Sergio Marchionne, Alfa introduced the Lotus-like 4C sports car, BMW 3 Series-rivalling Giulia sports sedan and an Audi Q5 alternative in the Stelvio crossover.
But those cars have failed to fire.
The Giulia and Stelvio are outsold 10-to-one by BMW and Audi equivalents, while the 4C averages less than three sales per month in Australia.
Which is a shame, as all three are great to drive. News Corp road tester Bill McKinnon said the Giulia was “the best car I’ve driven for ages” and that “I’d take it over a German stodgebox any day”.
European laws requiring car makers to dramatically reduce average fuel consumption are on the way, and the brand already lags behind the likes of luxury rivals Jaguar, Audi, BMW, Mercedes-Benz and Porsche which already produce electric vehicles.
Alfa Romeo, currently controlled by Fiat Chrysler (FCA), is set to become part of a larger joint entity including France’s PSA Group, parent to Peugeot, Citroen and DS.
PSA and FCA announced plans to merge on October 31, telling investors the collective group would invest in “electrified powertrain, autonomous driving and digital connectivity”.
Originally published as Italian icon turns its back on sports cars