Anyone interested in cars will have seen the news: The new small SUV from Alfa Romeo, built in Poland, is no longer allowed to be called the Milano. At least that's what the Italian government protested. So the brand pulled a new name out of the hat, which was allegedly on the shortlist: Junior.

A name with tradition and quite appropriate, as it is often used for entry-level models. Let's take a look at the past together. You can find all the information about the new Junior from Alfa Romeo here.

Alfa Romeo Giulia GT 1300 Junior/GT 1600 Junior

Alfa Romeo Giulia GT 1300 Junior

Alfa Romeo Giulia GT 1300 Junior

The Alfa Romeo Giulia saloon presented in 1962 and the coupé with the GT suffix that followed in 1963 were enthusiastically received by the public. Both models became bestsellers and icons of the brand.

The basis for their commercial success is one of the first applications of the low-cost platform strategy. The saloon, the coupé known worldwide among classic car fans as the "Bertone" and the rare estate and cabriolet versions largely share the same technology.

In 1966, Alfa Romeo rounded off the coupé series - for which the name suffix Giulia was dropped from 1968 - with reduced equipment and a 1.3-litre engine. The four-cylinder engine with two overhead camshafts in the 1,290 cubic centimetre version, which had previously been introduced for the saloon, was largely made of light alloy. The power output of 89 PS at 5,500 rpm and the ample torque enable sporty driving performance. The top speed of over 105 mph is proof of this.

Gallery: All Alfa Romeo Juniors in history

The Alfa Romeo GT 1300 Junior complements the coupé variants GT 1600 Sprint, GT Veloce with a 1,750 cubic centimetre or later 2.0-litre engine and GTA, the legendary lightweight version as a homologation model for motorsport. From 1971, a GT Junior version with a 1.6-litre engine was also offered.

The aim of the Alfa Romeo GT 1300 Junior was to appeal to a younger audience looking for an exceptional and exclusive car at a reasonable purchase and running cost. Although a Ford Capri or Opel-Manta with similar performance were significantly cheaper, the first Junior was nevertheless a success. By the end of production in 1976, Alfa Romeo had sold almost 92,000 coupés bearing the GT Junior badge.

Giulia GTA 1300 Junior/GTA 1300 Junior Corsa

Alfa Romeo Giulia GTA 1300 Junior

Alfa Romeo Giulia GTA 1300 Junior

In the 1960s, Alfa Romeo also supported private drivers in the 1.3-litre category in parallel to its factory involvement in the class for vehicles with an engine capacity of more than 1.6-litres. To this end, the 1300 GTA was created in 1968 as the little brother of the 1600 GTA. The Junior also had a light-alloy body riveted to the sheet steel skeleton, albeit with larger rear wheel cut-outs. Overall, the extremely expensive lightweight construction is not applied quite as meticulously in the series model as in the 1600 GTA.

For example, the Plexiglas windows and magnesium wheel rims were dispensed with. The engine components previously made of alloy are now made of aluminium. Instead, the limited slip differential is fitted as standard on the 1300 GTA Junior. The interior is upholstered in black imitation leather and the front seats are similar to those of the Alfa Romeo Giulia Sprint 1750 GT Veloce.

The main change to the engine is the bore - the reduction from 82 to 67.5 millimetres results in a displacement of 1,290 cubic centimetres. Dual ignition and the two 45 twin carburettors are retained. This means that 96 PS is available as standard. Autodelta delivers the four-cylinder in Corsa variant with up to 160 PS.

Alfa Romeo Giulia GTA 1300 Junior

Alfa Romeo Giulia GTA 1300 Junior

The oil sump has been enlarged compared to the 1600 engine, now 9.7 instead of the previous six litres of lubricant must be carefully warmed up. As an alternative to the carburettors, a Spica injection system is also homologated. Although this only increased power by five PS, it also significantly improved responsiveness, particularly at low engine speeds.

From summer 1968, the GTA Junior became the benchmark in the 1300cc class. In 1969, Enrico Pinto (Italy) won the European Touring Car Cup in this displacement category, followed by Carlo Truci (Italy) as champion in 1970. Karl Wendlinger senior wins the title in the Austrian Touring Car Championship.

Alfa Romeo Giulia GTA 1300 Junior Race

Alfa Romeo Giulia GTA 1300 Junior Race

On 1 January 1970, Alfa Romeo homologated body parts for the GTA Junior, which transformed the little car into a GTAm format. Thick mudguard extensions are now permitted, under which rims up to nine inches wide fit. The extensions are made of plastic, as are the bonnets, doors and dashboard supports from this date. In addition, different cylinder heads are registered, in 1974 even one with four valves per combustion chamber.

Upgraded in this way, the GTA Junior remained a car capable of winning in the 1300cc division, whether on the circuit, on the mountain or in rallies. In 1972, it even helped Alfa Romeo to another European championship title, again ahead of Ford and BMW - with nine division victories in nine races.

Junior Zagato

Alfa Romeo Giulia GT 1300 Junior Zagato

Alfa Romeo Giulia GT 1300 Junior Zagato

The Alfa Romeo Junior Zagato is probably the hottest of all the Junior models. 

It was produced by the Italian coachbuilder Zagato from 1969 to 1975. The vehicle was designed by Ercole Spada. The body was manufactured by Zagato, where the final assembly also took place. The technology was essentially derived from the Alfa Romeo Giulia. Alfa Romeo is also responsible for sales and service. The vehicle is presented for the first time at the Turin Motor Show in 1969.

Due to its high price, the Junior Zagato remains rare. The first series with the designation GT 1300 (Type 105.93) was produced until 1972 with a total of 1,108 units. The second series called GT 1600 (Type 115.24) was produced from 1972 to 1975 in only 402 units. Thanks to good aerodynamics, the vehicle achieved a top speed of 109 mph and 115 mph respectively.

Alfa Romeo GT 2000 Junior Zagato 'Periscopica'

Alfa Romeo GT 2000 Junior Zagato 'Periscopica'

The Junior Zagato is based on the floor assembly of the Alfa Spider, although the wheelbase is ten centimetres shorter than that of the Giulia Sprint GT. In the Series 1, the floor assembly was only used up to the rear wheels, the rear section was specific to the Zagato and used a tank similar to the Alfa Montreal and a very impractical location for the spare wheel in a hidden recess.

The Series 2 used the entire underbody and boot floor of the Alfa Spider, including its tank and spare wheel well. This made the rear of the Zagato ten centimetres longer than the first series.

Spider 1300 Junior/Spider 1600 Junior

Alfa Romeo Spider 1300 Junior

Alfa Romeo Spider 1300 Junior

The premiere of the Alfa Romeo Spider 1750 took place in January 1968 at the Brussels Motor Show. At the same time, production of the 1600 version was discontinued after over 6,000 units had been built.

With the larger engine, however, the price of the Alfa Romeo Spider in Germany rises to 13,575 marks. This made it difficult for many young people to fulfil their desire for an open-top Alfa Romeo. After all, a VW Beetle was available at this time for less than 6,000 marks. The traditional Milanese brand therefore presented the Spider 1300 Junior in 1968 to round off the lower end of the model range.

As with the Giulia saloon and the Junior version of the Giulia GT coupé, the proven 1.3-litre four-cylinder engine was under the bonnet, differing from the 1600 engine practically only in terms of displacement. With 89 PS, the short-stroke four-cylinder engine requires high revs and only really gets going above 4,000 rpm.

Alfa Romeo Spider 1600 Junior

Alfa Romeo Spider 1600 Junior

The price of 10,990 marks, around 2,500 marks lower than the Alfa Romeo Spider 1750 Veloce, is also reflected in the reduced equipment. The Plexiglas headlight covers, the stabiliser bar on the rear axle and some chrome elements - as well as the cigarette lighter - have all fallen victim to the red pencil. In addition, the wooden steering wheel is replaced by a plastic one.

145 Junior/146 Junior

Alfa Romeo 145 Junior

Alfa Romeo 145 Junior

Alfa Romeo 146 Junior

Alfa Romeo 146 Junior

Although Alfa Romeo brought out various compact cars from 1972 with the Alfasud, Alfa 33 and the Arna, the Junior remained quiet for a long time. The name only returned in 1998 with the 145 and 146.

The Alfa Romeo 145 Junior had a sportier look than the production cars. It includes the painted side skirts of the 145 Quadrifoglio Verde, but with Junior lettering instead of the green QV emblem, painted exterior mirror housings and door handles, a lowered suspension and 15-inch alloy wheels with a five-hole design.

The interior features a leather steering wheel and leather gear knob. On the engine side, the 1.4 T.SPARK and the 1.6 T.SPARK are used.

MiTo Junior

Alfa Romeo MiTo Junior

Alfa Romeo MiTo Junior

2008 sees the launch of the smallest Alfa Romeo to date. In 2012, the brand added the newly designed MiTo 1.4-litre 8V Junior with 78 PS to the range of small car variants. Compared to the entry-level model, the "Junior" is additionally equipped with an audio system (including CD player, six loudspeakers and aerial), electrically adjustable and heated exterior mirrors, a start&stop system, air conditioning and special 15-inch "Junior" alloy wheels (tyre size: 185/65).

Model year 2014: The MiTo Junior can now also be ordered with the 0.9-litre 8V TwinAir; this high-tech petrol engine delivers 105 PS in the new version. The Junior equipment version is complemented by a direct-injection turbodiesel engine (1.3 JTDM 16V Eco, 85 PS). Fun fact: This means that the car is called both Milano (the Mi in MiTo) and Junior.

Giulia "GT Junior"/Stelvio "GT Junior"

Alfa Romeo Stelvio GT Junior und Giulia GT 1300 Junior

Alfa Romeo Stelvio GT Junior und Giulia GT 1300 Junior

October 2021 will see the last use of the Junior name for the time being before 2024. The Alfa Romeo Giulia GT Junior and Stelvio GT Junior special models are a tribute to the Alfa Romeo GT 1300 Junior. The limited special series are based on the particularly sporty VELOCE equipment variants.

The classic body colour "Ocra Lipari" is a distinctive visual feature. The interior features electrically adjustable leather seats with "GT Junior" embroidery on the front headrests and decorative stitching. A striking feature on the dashboard is the lettering and silhouette of the Alfa Romeo GT 1300 Junior from the 1960s.

There is a choice of two engines for the special models: a 2.2-litre turbodiesel with 210 PS output and a 2.0-litre turbo petrol engine producing 280 PS. Both four-cylinder engines, which are largely made of aluminium, are always combined with all-wheel drive. An eight-speed automatic gearbox is standard in all configurations, and power is transmitted to the rear axle via a cardan shaft made of carbon fibre.

In addition to the exclusive body colour, both special models feature five-hole alloy wheels as standard, with 21-inch wheels on the Alfa Romeo Stelvio GT Junior and 19-inch wheels on the Alfa Romeo Giulia GT Junior. Prices for the special Giulia model start at €63,000 in Germany, while the Stelvio GT Junior is available from €69,000.