Alfa Romeo’s Quadrifoglio Verde badge, seen most recently on hot versions of the MiTo and Giulietta hatches, will soon become a far more exclusive image.
The familiar four-leafed clover graphic first appeared nearly one hundred years ago as a good-luck talisman for racing driver Ugo Sivocci, and it was his victory at the Targa Florio that saw Alfa Romeo embrace the traditionally Irish image.
(Interestingly, Sivocci later lost his life in a racing car that was not adorned with the clover graphic.)
The lucky charm later appeared on especially sporting versions of Alfa Romeo models, including 1960s legends like the Giulia TI Super and the Giulia Sprint GTA.
But, according to Fiat Chrysler Automobiles Australia CEO, Pat Dougherty, models like the MiTo and Giulietta may soon be deemed unworthy of the special badge.
Speaking with CarAdvice at the local launch of the 2016 Chrysler 300 range, Dougherty hinted at plans for a more exclusive QV range in the future.
“The QV designation will soon be reserved for Giulia and above, meaning it will come off the Giulietta and models at that end of the Alfa family,” he said.
Dougherty added that QV will remain unique to the Alfa line-up specifically, suggesting that Fiat Chrysler has learned from its experience with splitting SRT off into a standalone brand, only to later declare it a Dodge-specific program.
What this means for future hot hatches in the Alfa Romeo line is unclear, but, with the next Giulietta expected to go rear-wheel-drive, it is likely we’ll see an Italian rival to the quickest 1 Series models somewhere in the future.
That is, if we can believe reports that BMW is reconsidering its much-hyped plan for moving the 1 Series to the front-wheel-drive UKL platform that underpins the 2 Series Active Tourer and the new Mini range.
Speaking with American magazine Motor Trend recently, BMW engineering executive Klaus Froehlich suggested that BMW has yet to lock in a plan for the new 1er's architecture.
"If rear drive, we would lose advantages of luggage space. But if one sort of customer wants space, he can get the 2 Series Active Tourer,” he told the magazine.
“The 1 Series is about conquest sales, so it has to be a true BMW.”
If nothing else, fans of compact rear-wheel-drive hatches could soon have not one, but two options to consider.