Turin - Alfa Romeo is set to pull the plug on its smallest car.

Roberta Zerbi, who head’s the company’s European arm, has told Autocar that the Mito hatchback would be discontinued internationally early next year (it's already been taken off the South African market), largely due to the market for three-door cars having waned considerably.

Yet given that the market for five-door hatches has always been a considerable size, one must wonder why Alfa Romeo never developed a five-door version of the Mito in the first place?

A more practical body style - which could still have looked pleasing to the eye as the 147 aptly illustrates - would certainly have widened its appeal.

Dare we say that weak styling, particularly at the front end, did the Mito few favours either.

Done correctly, the Mito might have lured a more youthful audience to the Alfa Romeo brand, who could then have graduated to flashier and more profitable models further down the line.

New SUVs, sports cars on the way

On that note, Alfa Romeo is planning to get a bigger slice of the lucrative SUV pie, with a more compact SUV that will slot - price-wise - between the Giulietta hatchback and Stelvio SUV.

Thankfully, the revered Italian marque isn’t forgetting about the kinds of vehicles that made it great, and plans to launch a new GTV coupe (based on the Giulia and with up to 440kW) as well as a redesigned carbon-fibre bodied 8C in the coming years.

These form part of the brand’s five-year new model strategy that was announced back in June.

Oh, and those who prefer traditional hatchbacks will be getting an upgraded Giulietta, apparently.

IOL Motoring