Major car maker forced to scrap 70-year tradition due to new EU safety rules

Italian car maker Alfa Romeo has been forced to scrap a 70-year design tradition on its stylish vehicles due to a new safety law introduced by the European Union, according to This Money.

According to Express, the manufacturer will no longer sell new models with off-centre front number plates, because they do not conform to pedestrian safety rules brought in by the EU.

This change means that Alfa Romeo will have to revert to centrally-mounted plates, as used by the majority of car makers. The brand’s customary offset registration plate on the front bumper, which dates back to the 1955 Giulietta Spider, is a design feature synonymous with the company and is still used on today’s cars, including the Giulia, Stelvio, and Tonale.

With Alfa Romeo having abandoned its iconic off-centre front number plate design in favor of centrally-mounted plates, this means that the next-generation models and those beyond will now have conventional centrally-positioned front plates due to the new regulations.

While some die-hard Alfisti may lament this change, it’s aimed at enhancing pedestrian safety in case of collisions. Some may consider this as a more conventional placement. Nevertheless, there’s still a rich history of beautiful Alfa Romeos with centrally-positioned front plates.

Some die-hard Alfisti, who think an Alfa Romeo isn’t an Alfa Romeo unless it’s flaunting that iconic number plate on the side, may not be happy with this change. For them, an Alfa Romeo isn’t truly an Alfa Romeo unless it flaunts that iconic off-center plate.

However, the rationale behind this change is crucial: enhancing pedestrian safety in case of a collision. By adhering to the new EU regulations, Alfa Romeo seeks to reduce the risk of injury to pedestrians in the unfortunate event of a collision. While tradition may be momentarily set aside, the brand’s commitment to safety remains steadfast and despite the shift, there are still plenty of beautiful Alfa Romeos in history that have the number plate in the middle.

Alejandro Mesonero-Romanos, design chief at Alfa Romeo, said the number plate in the middle would be seen on electric Giulia and Stelvio models, following on from the Junior hatch.

He added: “We cannot put the number plate on the side any more because of the homologation regulations for pedestrian [safety].”

There’s still a rich history of beautiful Alfa Romeos with centrally-positioned front plates but these new EU safety rules have prompted Alfa Romeo to make some serious changes, and we’re here for it, round of applause for Alfa Romeo.

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