Alfa Romeo MiTo UK Version, 2009
With design cues taken from the stunning Alfa Romeo 8C Competizione, and only available as a 3-door hatchback, the new Alfa Romeo MiTo is styled to match its description as the sportiest compact car on the market today.
The Alfa Romeo MiTo manages to blend its sports credentials with typical Alfa Romeo style and sophistication to create a compact car that expresses the vitality and emotion of the brand.
Front on, the new addition to the range is every inch an Alfa Romeo. The instantly recognisable shield-shaped grille denotes the lineage of the Alfa Romeo MiTo and the shape of the bonnet and the headlamps pay homage to the Alfa 8C Competizione.
STYLISH AND COMFORTABLE
Inside the Alfa Romeo MiTo, it's clear to see that the sporty theme has been maintained.
Throughout the interior, a combination of precision materials, smart upholstery and top levels of build quality, plus neat finishing touches, make the cockpit a cosseting and welcoming environment.
The simply laid-out satin-chrome central console - home to the RDS stereo radio and MP3-compatible CD player - combined with the four air vents, tactile dashboard and the hooded driver instruments housing MPH, RPM, fuel and water temperature gauges - create a high quality interior that is complemented by a choice of dashboard colours and matching seat upholstery.
Dependent on trim level, the driver can choose a dashboard colour - Sprint Black, Sprint Red, Competizione Blue, Competizione Red or Black.
The trim colour is extended to the driver and passenger door panels and complementary seat fabrics.
Controls for the heating and ventilation system are positioned in front of the gearlever on the central console. Across the range, all Alfa Romeo MiTo versions come with manual air conditioning as standard, plus the option of automatic dual-zone air conditioning.
Behind the wheel, the driver benefits from a rake and reach-adjustable steering wheel. Lusso and Veloce versions feature a leather steering wheel, gearlever and handbrake grip.
The three-position DNA switch is located beside the gear lever. The driver is reminded which function has been selected with a digital letter designation on the dashboard alongside a read-out for time, outside temperature and turbo pressure. Turismo and Lusso models get red-on-black dials while the Veloce trim features white on black dials.
On certain models, chrome kick plates, floor mats and a front armrest represent an executive touch, and the option of chrome sports pedals hints further at the sporty lineage of the Alfa Romeo MiTo.
Tilting and sliding front seats make rear passenger access easy and comfortable and, unlike some competitors, there's plenty of head, leg and elbow room in the back seats for two full-size adults.
Radio and Hi-Fi system
A young audience attracted to the Alfa Romeo MiTo's stylish and modern look will take in- car entertainment seriously. For that reason, the new Alfa Romeo MiTo includes a sophisticated RDS radio with CD and MP3 file player, and two sound system levels.
The first sound system comes complete with six speakers (two mid-woofers with a power rating of 40W, two 40W full range speakers and two 30W tweeters), while the higher level comes with eight speakers (four subwoofers with a power rating of 40 W and four 30W speakers).
Significantly, for the first time in its segment, the Alfa Romeo MiTo becomes available with a double antennae tuner fitted with a twin aerial for up to 80% better reception.
Built into the design of the dashboard and laid out in user-friendly fashion, the controls for the radio, CD and MP3 player are easily accessible to the driver and front seat passenger.
On Lusso and Veloce models, the sound system can be managed using steering wheel controls.
ALL MOD CONS - The Alfa Romeo MiTo Range
The entire Alfa Romeo MiTo range is extremely well specified and, in some areas, class leading. The inclusion of Alfa Romeo's DNA system, LED rear lights and the highest Euro NCAP safety rating reinforce MiTo's keen pricing and exceptional value.
The standard specification list is long and comprehensive, featuring Alfa's advanced DNA function along with the Q2 system and electric power assisted steering. In addition, this model is fitted with Vehicle Dynamic Control - an amalgamation of ABS, Anti Slip Regulation and Brake Assistant - plus Hill Holder as standard.
Other safety features include driver, passenger, front side, window and driver's knee airbags, along with fast-reaction LED rear lights and a fire prevention system. The front passenger airbag can also be deactivated.
The LED rear lights complement the height adjustable follow-me-home headlights with titanium grey surrounds, electrically adjustable and heated colour-coded door mirrors and bumpers.
All Alfa Romeo MiTo Turismo versions come with 16" wheels with unique design trims and 195/55 tyres.
Inside the cabin, driver and passengers benefit from manual air conditioning, electric one-touch window operation plus an RDS radio with CD and MP3 reader. There's also an 'auto-close' system to complement the Alfa code immobiliser and alarm system.
Drivers can choose two different cabin colours. A Sprint Black dashboard is complemented by black / grey cloth and a Sprint Red dashboard comes with a black / red cloth combination.
From the outside, Lusso versions can be distinguished from Turismo by their fog lights, chrome headlamp surrounds, chrome-effect window surrounds and chrome exhaust pipes. The Alfa Romeo MiTo Lusso also differentiates itself from the rest of the range by sporting 16" alloy wheels.
Stepping over the chrome kick plates, the interior of Lusso models can feature a choice of three different interior colour combinations.
Competizione Blue, Red or Black dashboards can be complemented by the inclusion of five different cloth seat colour combinations. All Lusso models come with lumbar adjustment on the driver's side.
A leather steering wheel with remote audio controls, a leather gear knob and floor mats complete the look.
Top of the range Alfa Romeo MiTo Veloce versions are fitted with 17" alloy wheels - similar to those that appear on the stunning Alfa 8C Competizione - along with satin effect headlamp surrounds and door mirrors.
This version features a rear spoiler and sports rear bumper with extractor. Veloce versions also sport red painted brake callipers.
Inside the cockpit, the Veloce features the same dashboard options as the Lusso version, but with an upgraded Veloce sports cloth, front armrest with storage compartment and sports dials with white illumination.
With a long history of developing entertaining, driver-focussed small cars, Alfa Romeo has created a sporty compact that existing Alfisti and future fans are sure to enjoy.
Until now, no other compact car has benefitted from advanced DNA driving technology derived from racing and supercars.
Situated beside the gearlever, a three-position switch alters the behaviour of vehicle dynamics with the system working on engine, steering, suspension, and gearbox. This creates three different vehicle behaviour modes based on the driving style best suited to the situation, terrain or the wishes of the driver.
With a choice of Dynamic, Normal and All Weather set-ups at the flick of a switch, the driver can effortlessly shift between the driving modes.
Ideal for urban driving, the Normal setting ensures the engine is tuned for agility in the city. However, shifting the DNA lever to the Dynamic setting delivers a sportier driver experience. Power steering assistance is reduced to bring a sportier feel to the steering, suspension becomes stiffer for improved handling and there is less intrusion from the Vehicle Dynamic Control and the Anti Slip Regulation systems.
When Dynamic mode is selected on 120bhp JDTM and 155bhp Alfa Romeo MiTo versions, drivers can utilise an over-boost facility for increased driving entertainment.
RIDE AND HANDLING - SUSPENSION
Key to the sporting ride and handling characteristics of the Alfa Romeo MiTo is the suspension layout.
Two tried and tested set-ups have been employed - a MacPherson layout at the front and a semi-independent layout with torsion beam at the rear.
In particular, some key elements have been incorporated to give an exclusive feel to the Alfa Romeo MiTo chassis.
To emphasise the promptness of response, stability and control, even under extreme conditions, MiTo's track widths are among the widest in the segment - 1483mm front and 1475mm rear.
The wheel rims are also wide in relation to the size of the tyres in order to optimise the latter's handling performance. The stiff, front and rear springs give the vehicle a sporting yet pliant ride, and the torsion beam features high torsional stiffness to enable it to also act as an anti-roll bar, thereby ensuring optimum roll performance and helping maximise the promptness of response.
Three petrol engines - 1.4 16V (95bhp), 1.4 TB (120bhp) and 1.4TB (155bhp) - plus two diesel engines - 1.3 JTDM (90bhp) and 1.6 JTDM (120bhp) - will become available from launch.
Four units are mated to a 6-speed manual gearbox to deliver a punchy, responsive, driving experience, and the remaining engine (1.4 120bhp) is coupled with an equally impressive 5-speed 'box.
Distinguished by its performance, eager throttle response, low fuel consumption, durability and reliability, the new 1.4 turbocharged petrol engine powers two of the five models in the petrol line-up, with two different power outputs.
1.4 16V 95bhp
The entry level - normally aspirated - petrol unit can be specified with each of the three trim levels to deliver a spirited and willing performance.
Developing 95bhp at 6000rpm and a maximum 129Nm of torque at 4500rpm, the 1.4 16V engine is capable of accelerating the Alfa Romeo MiTo from 0-62mph in 11.2 seconds, and on to a top speed of 112mph.
An ideal partner for relaxed, around town driving, this petrol engine is mated to a 6-speed manual gearbox to make longer, motorway journeys more economical and relaxed.
Official mpg figures reveal that in urban driving, the Alfa Romeo MiTo 1.4 16V covers 36.7mpg, while long journeys will push that fuel consumption figure to 58.9mpg. The combined figure is a creditable 47.9mpg.
CO2 emissions are 138g/km and put the Alfa Romeo MiTo 1.4 16V in tax band C.
1.4 TB 120bhp Turbopetrol
New to the Alfa Romeo range, and available with all three trim levels, is a 1.4 turbocharged unit that delivers enhanced levels of driving flexibility and lively performance.
Responsive and satisfying to drive, the new 1.4 TB engine is enhanced by the low inertia of the turbocharger that makes it possible to obtain maximum performance from a throttle command, without the annoying lag typical of this type of engine.
Throttle control for this unit (and the 155bhp version) is drive-by-wire, without any mechanical connection, so that the driver can obtain the desired response from the engine with the greatest energy efficiency.
The 0-62mph sprint takes 8.8 seconds, and in fifth gear, a top speed of 123mph can be attained - impressive figures that have previously been associated with larger engines.
This 1.4 TB unit develops its maximum power of 120bhp at 5000rpm but, more impressively, produces a generous 206Nm of torque at just 1750rpm.
In turn, these characteristics help the Alfa Romeo MiTo to achieve 34.9mpg around town and 56.5mpg in the extra urban cycle, plus a combined figure of 46.3mpg.
CO2 emissions of 145g/km put the Alfa Romeo MiTo 1.4 TB 120bhp in tax band C.
1.4 TB 155bhp Turbopetrol
Only available on Lusso and Veloce versions, the new 1.4TB 155bhp unit is the top performing petrol engine in the Alfa Romeo MiTo range, delivering its maximum power at 5500rpm along with a maximum torque of 230 Nm at 3000rpm.
Quickest of the Alfa Romeo MiTo launch range, this version can accelerate from 0-62mph in just 8.0 seconds and reach a top speed of 134mph.
1.3 JTDM 90bhp
The latest generation JTDM engines are trailblazing diesel technology and Alfa Romeo is now bringing that expertise to the sporty compact car sector.
Available across the Alfa Romeo MiTo line-up, this engine choice extends all the benefits of lower fuel consumption and very low emissions along with remarkable low-down
torque - 200Nm at 2000rpm - for a relaxed driving style with minimal gear changes and a maximum 90bhp at 4000rpm. Official fuel consumption figures show that even in the Urban Cycle, the new Alfa Romeo MiTo 1.3 JTDM achieves 47.1mpg, while its Combined Cycle figure is a remarkable 62.8mpg.
1.6 JTDM 120bhp
Representing class-leading diesel technology, this Euro 5-ready 1.6 JTDM 120bhp engine delivers a massive 320Nm of torque at just 1750rpm.
As a result, the engine is perfectly matched for drivers wanting an effective combination of low running costs with useable power and flexibility for authentic driving satisfaction.
Alfa Romeo's new injection system with new-generation variable geometry turbo engines along with the most advanced exhaust gas treatment technologies - Close Coupled Diesel Particulate Filter and an integral EGR (Exhaust Gas Recirculation) system - improves control of temperature and gas flow, simultaneously guaranteeing lower emissions and low fuel consumption.
No other similar size engine currently offers such a high torque delivery at such low rpm. All things considered, the new 1.6 JTDM offers exhilarating driving satisfaction that is difficult to match. This achievement is also borne out by an acceleration time of 0-62mph in just 9.9 seconds and a top speed of 123mph, while Combined Cycle fuel consumption is a remarkable 58.9mpg.