Former Ferrari, Alfa chassis guru joins Alpine
Industry comings and goings aren’t typical PH news fodder, but then Philippe Krief’s arrival at Alpine as its new Managing Director – as well as VP, Engineering and Product Performance – is no regular appointment. Not only is he leaving his role as Head of R&D at Ferrari, he was also Chief Technical Officer for the Alfa Romeo Giorgio platformed cars, the Giulia and Stelvio. Y’know, perhaps the best-driving cars in their respective segments, and easily the greatest Alfa Romeos of the 21st century. Oh yes, and before that was his first stint for Ferrari, where one of his responsibilities was the chassis of the 458 Speciale, unarguably a high watermark for mid-engined Ferrari V8s.
So Krief goes to Dieppe with quite the CV to his name, but also quite the in-tray to tackle. All new Alpine models launched from 2024 will be electric; not only will Krief have to get an electric saloon, sports car and hot hatch to increasingly competitive markets, but the job must also be done in the wake of the A110. Talk about a ludicrously high bar.
A little like the Giulia and Stelvio for Alfa Romeo in fact, nobody really expected much from the little Alpine sports car, only for it to captivate all who got behind the wheel and show everyone else where they’d been going wrong. (Then still not sell as well as the German alternatives.) Somehow Krief’s dual role will have to translate the sheer joy of a 1,100kg sports car to much larger, heavier EVs, because the legacy of the A110 deserves nothing less. A tough job – but if anyone was equipped for impossible tasks it’s the man who made the first rear-drive Alfa in 30 years a world beater.
Krief will report directly to Alpine CEO Laurent Rossi. The latter said: “I am delighted that Philippe Krief is joining our outstanding and dynamic Alpine team. His many years of experience in the high-end and sporty automotive industry will be an asset for the brand and will allow us to develop a rich and promising product range to achieve our ambitions, especially in new markets. Alpine has to prepare itself in optimum conditions for this pivotal time in its history.” Krief’s time at Alpine begins next month.