The incubation period for the radical new Alfa Romeo Brera is over. The wraps are now finally off the car that has been dubbed the most beautiful automobile in the world. Details of the full Brera range were released at this year’s Frankfurt Motor Show, but the showstopper was undoubtedly the Q4 version on display which sported a 3.2 V6 JTS 24-valve engine, a jewel of engine technology, that delivers 191 kW at 6200 rpm, and peak torque of 322 Nm at 4500 rpm.
The Alfa Brera goes on sale in Europe towards the end of 2005. It will make its South African debut during the second half of 2006 – the engine line-up will be confirmed closer to launch.
Designed by Giorgetto Giugiaro, the model represents the state of the art in the world of the coupé, a strong compact car, mistress of the road with a strong personality. First of all, this fascinating ‘2+2’ has generous dimensions: it is 1,830 mm wide, 4,413 mm long and 1,372 mm high, with a wheelbase of 2,525 millimetres, although the heightened taper of the front and rear makes it look very compact. This does not in any way diminish the elegance of the lines which flow smoothly, from front to back, right down to the built-in bumpers and light clusters with their converging wedge shape.
The exterior line is a succession of classical references, an ideal place where traditional Alfa styling cues are re-proposed in a modern key. This is evident at first glance. For example, the rear window that recalls the window of the Giulietta Sprint of many years ago. Or the rear end which reinforces the distinctive traits of recent Alfa Romeo models. And at the front, the bonnet is reminiscent of cars of the Fifties, dominated by the shield set at the centre. And finally the larger rear light clusters and the four exhaust outlets emphasise the impression of a powerful sports car, like the large tyres and the sporty alloys that are standard throughout the range.
The Alfa Romeo Brera aims to maintain continuity with the past, while enlarging the interior space and raising the standard of on-board comfort. On a car of great character, the driving position is the hub around which the interior is built. The Alfa Brera is no exception, as you would expect from a car born to offer exuberant performance and an extremely striking design.
Sophisticated, welcoming interiors
The Alfa Brera comes in two outfits, both lavishly equipped with electronic and telematic equipment, and the interior ambience is always welcoming and sophisticated, thanks to the original design, captivating colour and quality materials used for the trims, facia and seats. The interior of the new model epitomises distinctive sportiness, an impression that is heightened by the introduction of innovative solutions, such as the large fixed sunroof which increases the luminosity in the car and the passengers’ sense of space, making the line sleeker and more flowing.
The seats have built-in head-restraints and a sporty design, but this does not detract from comfort, which remains at the highest levels for this segment. And by folding down the rear seats, the luggage capacity is increased from 236 to 546 litres, which confirms the generous loading area.
Superb engineering technologies
The engine is the real strength of every Alfa model. Behind a fascinating line and strong personality, Alfa cars conceal a range of superb powerplants with advanced technology and generous performance. The same is true of the Alfa Brera, which offers a choice of two JTS petrol engines (2.2 delivering 185 bhp and 3.2 delivering 260 bhp), and a 2.4 JTD turbodiesel that delivers 200 bhp (available in 2006), combined with a 6-speed sporty gearbox and complete with DPF filter. In other words, this is a car capable of exciting performance, but also ideal for everyday use.
The safety and dynamic performance of the top of the class
Fascinating styling, plenty of character and superb engineering. The Alfa Brera combines these distinctive features with others, playing its trump cards in the field of safety and dynamic behaviour. While ‘enjoyable driving’ has always been one of the strong points of any car from Alfa Romeo, ‘enjoyable travelling’ now becomes a necessary choice when the cars have to guarantee excellent comfort as well as the Alfa character. For this reason, the Alfa Brera fits high double wishbone suspension at the front and a Multilink system at the rear.
This layout guarantees excellent dynamic performance but also superb comfort. Whoever sits at the wheel controls the behaviour of this truly great sports car, but certainly does not forgo the excellent comfort guaranteed by the suspension. To which the Alfa Brera adds a sporty trim, Q4 four-wheel drive on the 3.2 V6 version, and the most advanced electronic devices to control the car’s dynamic behaviour (the sophisticated VDC system with sporty, non-intrusive calibration, complete with MSR and ASR).
Safe, powerful and with very personal styling, the Alfa Brera marks another step forward in the coupé market, a particular segment where Alfa Romeo with its fantastic tradition, has always been a protagonist.