Robb Report Singapore - - The Last Word - By DARYL LEE

f you were to per­form an In­ter­net search on the worst cars of all time, you’ll prob­a­bly no­tice one car crop­ping up with dis­turb­ing fre­quency — the Alfa Romeo Arna.

To be fair, it’s quite easy to heap the hate on the Arna. It was a car built with the worst bits of Ital­ian and Ja­panese knowhow, in that much of the en­gi­neer­ing came from the for­mer and much of the de­sign came from the lat­ter.

Of course, these days, the Ital­ians have more than proven they can en­gi­neer a good car with func­tion­ing elec­tri­cal sys­tems, and the Ja­panese are more than ca­pa­ble of styling a beau­ti­ful car.

Pro­duced in the 1980s, the Arna’s name is an acro­nym of Alfa Romeo Nis­san Au­tove­icoli, or Alfa Romeo Nis­san Au­to­mo­biles in English. Some might say the Arna was doomed from the get-go.

You see, it was a mar­riage of (in) con­ve­nience and des­per­a­tion. The union, ce­mented in late 1980, was borne out of the then state-run and ail­ing Alfa Romeo want­ing to break into the boom­ing mass­mar­ket com­pact hatch­back seg­ment, a re­sult of the 1970s en­ergy cri­sis ne­ces­si­tat­ing a pivot to­wards smaller cars.

On Nis­san’s part, the Alfa Romeo deal was its way of get­ting its foot in the door to en­ter an in­creas­ingly pro­tec­tion­ist Euro­pean car mar­ket and es­tab­lish a beach­head, should re­stric­tions one day re­lax. Like all hasty mar­riages of con­ve­nience, se­ri­ous er­rors of judge­ment

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