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Italy bans Alfa Romeo Milano name, so now it’s Alfa Romeo Junior

Just a few days after the Milano's reveal, Alfa Romeo has been forced to change the car’s name entirely

The Alfa Romeo Milano was revealed just last week as the Italian marque's very first pure electric vehicle, but it seems the Italian government wasn't too keen on its name. As a result, the new compact SUV has been renamed entirely to 'Junior' before the first cars had a chance to hit the road.

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In an official press release, Alfa Romeo confirmed that despite the firm believing the Milano name met all legal requirements, a government official declared the use of the Milano name illegal. The logic behind this ruling is that the new model will be produced in Poland, contravening a law that prohibits the sale of products with Italian-sounding names that aren't produced in Italy.

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While the firm still believes it's in the right, it has changed the name 'in the spirit of promoting mutual understanding', switching from Milano to Junior. This new name was a frontrunner from the get-go, having been one of many chosen by the public.

Jean-Philippe Imparato, Alfa Romeo CEO, said: 'We decided to change the name, even though we know that we are not required to do so, because we want to preserve the positive emotion that our products have always generated and avoid any type of controversy. The attention to our new sports compact that we’ve received the past few days is quite exciting as we had an unprecedented number of visits to the online configurator, causing the website to crash for a couple hours.'

The new Alfa Romeo Junior has quite a bit more performance on offer than the 1966 original, with the GT 1300 Junior's 1.3-litre twin-cam four-cylinder producing just 88bhp. The range-topping Junior Veloce EV of today produces 237bhp from its all-electric powertrain, with the less potent 154bhp entry-level model capable of covering 250 miles (WLTP) on a full charge.

UK pricing and availability is yet to be announced.

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