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Car news, 16 Apr ’24: Alfa Romeo changes Milano name to Junior, Citroen unveils new-gen petrol C3 hatch, and more


Every important car news story breaking today, one convenient read

Thanks for joining us this Tuesday April 16th 2024. Notably in car news today: Alfa Romeo makes a shock decision to rename the Milano SUV, and Citroen reveals the combustion versions of its new-gen C3.  

Browse this issue:

Alfa Romeo Milano is dead – long live the Junior!

interiorAlfa Romeo Tonale Veloce PHEV 2024 interior shifter paddles
Alfa Romeo has changed the name Milano to Junior
  • In a bizarre twist, the Alfa Romeo Milano announced last week has been officially renamed the Junior following political pressure from the Italian government and threats to ban the short-lived Milano name under the nation’s laws. 
  • Similar to the situation in which the term ‘Champagne’ can only be used for sparkling wine originating from the Champagne region of France, Alfa Romeo got into a spot of trouble as it did not plan to build its Milano – the brand’s historical hometown – in Italy. Instead, the small SUV is to be produced in Poland
  • The Italian automaker released a formal press release, stating that “the name change was not an issue” and thanked the Italian government “for the free publicity brought on by this debate”. 
  • Alfa Romeo’s chief executive officer Jean-Phillippe Imparato stated that “We are perfectly aware that this moment will remain engraved in the history of the brand” and that “the choice of the name Junior is completely natural”. 
  • Despite the rapid change of name, the name ‘Milano’ can still be seen on the Alfa Romeo Australian website. Chasing Cars first reported on the Alfa Romeo Milano four months ago, though its country of manufacture had yet to be revealed at the time.    

Citroen unveils petrol and mild-hybrid variants for all-new C3

2024 Citroen C3 petrol model side angle driving shot
The 2024 Citroen C3 also comes with petrol power
  • Citroen has revealed the remainder of its all-new fourth-generation C3 lineup, joining the previously revealed electric e-C3 which was revealed last year.
  • The newly revealed petrol and mild-hybrid variants look virtually identical to their electric sibling for the small vehicle which continues its transformation from a traditional small car to a fully-fledged crossover – the new model is 100mm taller than the previous generation, with ground clearance up from 135mm to 197mm.
  • In addition to the electric eC3, the regular C3 will be available with either a 1.2-litre three-cylinder petrol engine delivering 75kW and mated to a manual transmission, or a hybrid that adds 48-volt mild hybrid and and an additional 21kW thanks to the addition of an electric motor, mated with a dual-clutch automatic transmission.
  • Australian plans for the new C3 are yet to be confirmed, with additional new features including new suspension progressive hydraulic cushions and the elimination of a traditional instrument cluster for a new-style head-up display to streamline driver information. 

BYD reportedly only making USD$1250 profit per car, greater focus on market share

BYD Dolphin Premium 2023 driving front 3/4 5
BYD is making less profit, aiming for higher market share
  • Chinese global automaker BYD is reportedly only making a net profit of roughly USD$1250 per car as it works to instead increase its market share in an ongoing battle with Tesla
  • According to recent reports from Car News China, Tesla made over USD$8250 profit per car sold in comparison to BYD’s efforts. 
  • BYD has found success in keeping its cars competitive by continuing to drop the prices of its vehicles across several global markets. At the beginning of 2024, the Chinese automaker celebrated three million new car sales in 2023, a 61.9 percent increase from its 2022 results. 
  • In February 2024, the price of several BYD models, some not sold in Australia such as the Han sedan and the Tang hybrid SUV, were lowered by up to 14 percent. 
  • BYD will continue its new-model push in the Australian market, with a hybrid ute and larger electric SUV confirmed for 2024. 

Maserati debuts luxury electric convertible called GranCabrio Folgore 

2024 Maserati GranCabrio Folgore front 3/4 image top down
The 2024 Maserati GranCabrio Folgore is coming!
  • Maserati has revealed its upcoming electric convertible, the GranCabrio Folgore, a model the brand states is the first luxury electric drop-top of its kind. 
  • As the drop-top version of the Granturismo model announced last year, the convertible version is set to feature a 83kWh usable battery pack and produce as much as 560kW/1350Nm thanks to an all-electric all-wheel drive system. Driving range is a claimed 455km (WLTP). 
  • Although exact platform specs are unknown, it’s likely that the Granturismo and Grancabrio Folgore models will be based off Stellantis’ STLA Large platform

2024 Toyota GR86 reviewed

Toyota GR86 GTS 2024 thumbnail
Tom Baker enjoyed his time with Toyota’s affordable sports car
  • Chasing Cars editor Tom Baker’s review of the 2024 Toyota GR86 GTS was published, including his detailed thoughts on its role as an affordable sports car for the masses.
  • Baker found that the GR86 had several good points, including crisp steering, brilliantly-tuned track mode and strong potential for day-to-day livability.
  • In terms of the not-so-good points, Baker addressed in his latest review that jiggly ride quality, a basic interior and lack of adjustable seat lumbar as some of the negatives for Toyota’s sports car. 
  • In concluding, Baker saw the potential in the GR86 to be a very livable daily drive in an new era that has seen the boom of heavier, less characterful cars coming into our market.

READ: Link to written review 

The next issue of Car News Today will be published on Wednesday 17th April at 4.30pm Sydney time.