Alfa Romeo recently threw open the gates of its Balocco Proving Ground, for a day of pre-type-approval testing of the new, 100% electric Junior 280 VELOCE to reveal the secrets of its outstanding driving dynamics. The dynamic preview allowed industry insiders to put the brand’s first electric compact sports car to the test on the same circuits where the dynamic design of the model has been validated, bringing Alfa Romeo sportiness back to the largest segment in the European market. The development and validation of all Alfa Romeo cars took place at the Balocco Proving Ground, an iconic venue completed in 1962. The Italian team of Alfa Romeo engineers, who worked on the brand’s recent models, were there to support the dynamic testing.  The same tracks were used to develop and test all the Alfa Romeo road cars from the last few decades as well as the racing cars that competed in international motor racing (F1 – DTM – Super Turismo). For the first time ever, Alfa Romeo provided access to the entire Langhe circuit, the famous track covering over 20 km that faithfully reproduced the mixed hilly routes often seen in the Piedmont region which allowed the Junior to be tested under absolutely unique conditions.

The Alfa Romeo Junior 280 VELOCE embodies the brand’s sporty attitude in a compact car. It is based on the classic Alfa Romeo formula, combining its renowned excellence – perfect weight balance, first-class driving dynamics, top-of-the-segment technological and engine solutions – and that “timeless beauty”, which has long been the hallmark of Alfa Romeo design. This version elevates these features to the highest levels, boasting segment-leading agility and best-in-class road handling. This is made possible by two world premieres for the debut of the Junior VELOCE: the new 280-HP/207-kW electric motor and the latest TorSen “D” mechanical limited-slip differential. The new car also adopts specific, exclusive technical solutions, including the most direct steering in the segment (14.6), specially calibrated to enhance its exceptional road-holding qualities. Additionally, the suspension has been lowered by 25 mm, and the extra sporty anti-roll bars ensure quick, precise cornering. The braking system includes 380-mm discs at the front with 4-piston monobloc calipers, while the 20” performance tyres are specific for high-performing electric vehicles.

With the Junior 280 VELOCE, the Alfa Romeo brand debuts the new generation of the M4+ electric motor, which delivers 207 HP / 280 CV of output and torque of 345 Nm. Jointly developed by Alfa Romeo engineering and by the joint venture between the Stellantis Engineering Propulsion Systems team and Emotors, the new powertrain has been designed and fine-tuned to meet the specific targets of the project led by the Alfa Romeo team.  Thanks to the motor’s high power and torque, and the specific calibration of the powertrain, new Junior VELOCE 280 offers uncompromising driving pleasure with segment-leading dynamics. Acceleration from 0 to 100 km/h takes just 5.9 seconds and the top speed is more than 200 km/h.  The electric powertrain consists of an electric motor (Hybrid Synchronous Motor) and the latest 54-kWh battery, offering a high energy  density and an outstanding ratio of rated to usable energy. The lithium-ion battery pack provides 410km of range in the WLTP cycle. Moreover, charging new Junior VELOCE is remarkably simple: it takes less than 30 minutes to charge the batteries from 20 to 80% at 100-kW DC fast charging stations.

The new Junior 280 VELOCE is a car for everyday driving, highly efficient and extremely engaging to drive. Specifically, the car is compact and easy to handle, ideal for the city, demonstrated by its length of just over 4 meters and a turning circle of 10.5 meters. Despite its compact size, the interior is spacious and can comfortably accommodate four adults and their luggage in segment-leading 400-litre boot. In terms of efficiency, the Junior 280 VELOCE weighs only 1,560 kg, about 200 less than its best competitors. Compact lithium-ion batteries significantly reduce weight and charging times. In addition, the iconic “truncated tail” and asymmetrical front air intakes are aerodynamic features that reduce air resistance and energy consumption. Plus, Junior guarantees the best driving experience both in the city and on mixed routes, without ever sacrificing practicality.  This is demonstrated by a front compartment under the bonnet for the charging cable, a 12-volt socket in the boot, a specific electric driving sound (audible only inside the passenger compartment) for improved perception of acceleration and deceleration, and an EV routing system for automatic, worry-free guidance to the next charge point.

The Junior 280 VELOCE offers various driver assistance features including 360° parking sensors, and a 180° rear camera while proximity access technology allows for easy locking and unlocking of the car.  It is equipped with new Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS) for Level 2 autonomous driving, for automatic handling of acceleration, braking and remaining within lane, to ensure maximum driving safety without sacrificing the pleasure of sitting at the wheel. Specifically, the new Junior provides Level 2 autonomous driving by combining the “Intelligent Adaptive Cruise Control” (IACC) and “Lane Centring” (LC) systems with the front camera, to monitor all the car’s surroundings both longitudinally and laterally. The IACC system makes use of “Intelligent Adaptive Cruise Control”, which automatically adjusts the car’s speed to maintain a safe distance from the vehicles in front, and the “Traffic Sign Recognition” and “Intelligent Speed Control” systems. The former uses the on-board camera to recognise traffic signs, reports them on the display, and alerts the driver of the current speed limit. The latter suggests the driver reduce their speed to the limit detected. If the driver accepts, the cruise control settings are automatically adjusted. Conversely, the LC system controls the sideways movement of the car, keeping it in the middle of the lane even in heavy traffic.

The Junior VELOCE is equipped with “Alfa Connect Services,” offering advanced onboard connectivity. Features include “My Navigation” for remote destination search and real-time alerts, and “My Remote” for smartphone interaction with the car. The Hey Alfa virtual assistant, powered by ChatGPT, provides a helpful travel companion. The exterior of the Junior 280 VELOCE is distinguished by the Progresso badge, two-tone livery (black roof and dark body colour with red accents), privacy glazing, adaptive Full LED Matrix headlights, and 20-inch alloy wheels. The Junior VELOCE is available in a choice of six colours: Sempione White, Tortona Black, Brera Red, Navigli Blue-Teal, Arese Steel, and Scala Ivory. The interior features Italian attention to every detail including high-quality upholstery, a 10.25” digital screen, a 10.25” touchscreen, and various comfort and safety features.  Further refinement can be found refined in the Spiga seats, with black/red/eco-leather fabric upholstery with a “shield” effect.  The driver’s seat features electric adjustment and massage function, soft-touch dashboard and tunnel, laser-cut dashboard fascia, high centre console with control panel, front centre armrest, smartphone storage space and two cup holders in the central tunnel.