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Friday, June 20, 2008

New Alfa Romeo Mita - So cute

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These are the best pictures yet of the new Alfa Mito, which will be one of the stars of the London motor show this July.

The car is expected to go on sale in the UK from January next year, and will finally provide direct competition for BMW’s all-conquering Mini.

Mito prices will kick off around £12,000, but it will offer far more rear cabin space and boot capacity than the Mini, as well as more powerful engines.

Although the 4.1m-long car is based on the Abarth version of the Fiat Grande Punto chassis, the Mito gets unique styling inside and out, as well as substantial sports seats and a range of downsized-but-powerful turbo petrol and diesel engines.

Some Alfa sources say that the Mito will get the option of highly advanced ‘Multi-Air’ petrol engines, which dispense with a camshaft controlling the inlet valves. In its place will be individual actuators to operate the valves, allowing almost infinite control over timing and lift. The result is said to be very powerful, despite a modest 1.4-litre capacity.

Alfa sources are hopeful that the Mito will revive its fortunes in the UK market. Insiders think that the Mito could shift over 10,000 units per year in Britain, single-handedly reviving the marque.

After the Mito appears in UK showrooms early next year, the next new Alfa will be the crucial replacement for the ageing 147.

Like its predecessor the 149 will get sophisticated “multi-link suspension front and rear”, according to insiders and it is said to share very little with Fiat’s similar-size Bravo hatchback.

The 149 should be unveiled in 2009 and it should also boost Alfa sales to around 25,000 units per year, four times last year’s Alfa UK total.

A decision has yet to be made on building a new Alfa Romeo flagship model, though. It remains possible that the model could be based on the Jaguar XF chassis. Fiat Auto and Tata – Jaguar’s new owner – have very close financial and product development links.

Even further out, Italian insiders have told Autocar that the next-generation 159 is likely to be smaller and lighter than the current car, while not giving anything away in terms of interior packaging.