Alfa Romeo MiTo (Brief General Overview)

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It’s in our D.N.A.

The MiTo is so much more than just a new model from one of the world’s oldest marques. It might be one of the most compact cars ever produced by Alfa Romeo, yet it has a huge responsibility resting on its shoulders.

Here you have a car that has to somehow magically encapsulate 99 years of Alfa Romeo sporting heritage, whilst appealing to the fickle palate of the techno-savvy now generation. A car that has to be the flag-bearer for the next generation of Alfa Romeos, but one that can never forget its illustrious roots.

Well, the all-new MiTo is that and more… Its very name reflects the incontrovertible link between the past and future of the brand: between Milano (‘Mi’), the Style Capital of the World that gave birth to the stylish form and Torino (‘To’), the industrial heart that lovingly brings the vehicular blueprint to life. Alfa Romeo proudly offers a new generation of ‘Alfisti’ THE SPORTIEST MINI YET and a tantalising foregleam of what’s to come from this historic marque.

Oscar Rivoli, Alfa Romeo SA’s Managing Director, is only too aware of the importance of the newcomer: “Every now and then a car comes along that is so much greater than the sum of its parts. The MiTo is such a car. An instant classic, it appeals on every level – style, handling, performance, features and that indefinable something that can only be attributed to its lineage. I feel privileged to be associated with a product this talented. I have no doubt that the buying public will be just as enchanted with it as we are.

Sporty and compact Italian style – it’s in our D.N.A
The MiTo is the first all-new Alfa Romeo model to be built since the 8C Competizione – the brand’s icon of style and technology, from which it borrows certain characteristic traits: the frameless side windows, the three-lobed motif that distinguishes the front bumper, the oblong almost cartoon-like shape of the headlights (outlined in chrome ‘mascara’) and the ‘stove plate’ LED tail-lights. The highly distinctive dashboard and seats ensure that the interior of the Alfa Romeo MiTo represents the ultimate expression of Italian style, welcoming yet sporty, with high material quality and scrupulous attention to detail.

The greatest thought has also gone into defining the dimensions, which add up to a compact and dynamic shape that nicely fulfils the requirement for downsizing, one of the buzzwords of present-day motoring design. This trend naturally does not concern only the car’s engine but also its weights and dimensions. Downsizing actually means improving energy efficiency, reducing CO2 emissions and simplifying driving and parking around town. But this new approach to construction does not preclude sportiness. Quite the opposite: the Alfa Romeo MiTo is the best demonstration that the two requirements can be reconciled.

First of all, the car’s compact size and the use of special steels mean that it has been possible to achieve outstanding torsional stiffness (101.200 daNm/rad): this is an essential quality to ensure that the car’s response is always prompt and accurate. The car’s proportions also make a very clear statement that this is a true sports car – it measures 4.06 metres long, 1.44 metres high and 1,72 metres wide – without giving up anything in terms of driving comfort. Indeed the excellent interior space distribution makes for an outstanding amount of room for both driver and passengers.

The Alfa Romeo MiTo is therefore a strong, compact car with dominion of the road and an emphatic personality of its own. This is also borne out by a high waist line – the ratio between body and glass is typical of an Alfa Romeo – and above all a long, very aerodynamic profile (Cd 0.29) that, together with a wide track (1.483 mm), add up to a vice-like grip on the road. Not to mention the fact that the broad tyre tread ensures the best print on the ground under all conditions.

Technologically-advanced handling – it’s in our D.N.A.
Style, design, and more… Performance and technology must always be top-of-the-range on an Alfa Romeo. Apart from anything else, an Alfa Romeo has always made its personality known at the steering wheel, one of its slogans being ‘movement and agility’. And the Alfa MiTo is certainly no exception: the new model displays all the unmistakeable hallmarks of unrivalled driving satisfaction, Alfa Romeo style: beginning with a favourable weight/power ratio (more than one third higher than the average for the segment); plus a centre of gravity near to the roll axis for the best dynamic response – and concluding with every possible passive and active safety aid. The new Alfa Romeo MiTo is therefore self-avowedly an Alfa to the core, confirming an uncompromising sense of control and driving satisfaction.

This out-and-out sporty configuration is also determined by a low ride typical of a true Alfa Romeo and the choice of two tried and tested suspension layouts – MacPherson at the front and semi-independent with torsion beam at the rear – already used on other Fiat Group Automobiles models but appropriately revised and updated to meet the handling targets that customers perennially expect of an Alfa Romeo car. As a standard feature on all specifications and engines, for example, all MiTos are fitted with shock absorbers with coilover springs that considerably reduce roll. Hence a greater capacity to absorb road roughness; maximum linearity and precision in the steering response (the steering ratio – 12.9:1 – is extremely direct and the trajectories very neutral); and great road-holding, maximum stability in high-speed manoeuvres and the agility of a true Alfa Romeo over tight mixed routes. Not to mention the fact that the four generous disc brakes guarantee an excellent stopping distance: 34 metres from 100 to 0 km/h.

So much for the mechanical options that make the Alfa Romeo MiTo an uncompromising sports car. These features are complemented by the latest new products in the field of electronics. Beginning with the brand new ‘Alfa D.N.A.’ device (standard of course!) that the compact Alfa Romeo introduces for the first time in its sector. This control acts on the engine, brakes, steering, suspension and gearbox, allowing three different vehicle behaviour modes based on the driving style best suited to the situation or the customer’s wishes: supersporting (Dynamic), town driving (Normal), maximum safety even in difficult grip conditions (All weather).

Another innovative product introduced on the Alfa Romeo MiTo is the Q2 Electronic system that acts only on the brakes to guarantee the effect of a self-locking differential. On normal cars, the inner wheel loses grip and the trajectory swings wide when the car accelerates out of a bend. With the Q2 Electronic system on the other hand, the traction control device brakes the inner wheel and redistributes the torque, applying it to the outer wheel with the greatest grip. This maintains the desired trajectory with optimum traction: with this system, lateral acceleration rises to 1 g as opposed to the value of 0.95 g obtained without the Q2 Electronic.

Lastly, the Alfa Romeo MiTo adopts another state-of-the-art electronic device for maximum handling: the DST (Dynamic Steering Torque) system that complements the electronic power steering as part of the Vehicle Dynamic Control system. In detail, the DST makes it possible to apply a slight torque to the steering to suggest the correct manoeuvre to the driver. This takes place in very specific circumstances, e.g. to compensate for oversteer or to make the effort at the steering wheel proportional to the steering angle, or to maintain a trajectory if the grip is different on either side.

Powerful smooth performance – it’s in our D.N.A.
Technology, performance and respect for the environment – the three tenets of the 1.4 16v Turbopetrol engine that sees service in the new MiTo. This powerplant is offered with a maximum power of 114 kW at 5500 rpm and a maximum torque of 206 Nm (the 114 kW is achieved at just 2000 rpm) but a mighty 230 Nm can be obtained at 3000 rpm by simply selecting the Dynamic driving mode on the Alfa D.N.A switch. (And Co2 emissions? A mere 153 g/km.) Driving flexibility is therefore high, with reduced use of the gearbox for a satisfying, relaxed drive, though all you have to do to achieve a more beefy response is to press your foot on the throttle. This is aided 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.

Performance is sparkling to say the least: it takes a mere 8 seconds to get to 100 km/h from rest and a highly illegal 215 km/h top speed will register on the dial when you’re going flat out. And adding to your driving pleasure is the sonorous growl of the engine (specially built into the package) that is synonymous with the Alfa badge.

Segment-beating safety – it’s in our D.N.A.
The Alfa Romeo MiTo was built to obtain the maximum Euro NCAP rating – of course it obtained its five stars with ease. For this reason it employs the most sophisticated electronic devices for control of vehicle dynamic safety: Vehicle Dynamic Control (not disengagable) that manages important functions such as the Hill Holder, traction control, assisted panic braking, MSR to prevent the wheels locking during over-run, DST (Dynamic Steering Torque) and Q2 Electronic – all standard features.

The Alfa Romeo MiTo also offers total protection for driver and passengers, as evidenced by 7 airbags as standard (two of which Multistage); three-point seatbelts with pretensioners and load limit limiters; S.A.H.R. (Self Aligning Head Restraint) system, an anti whiplash device built into the backrest on the front seats. Not to mention the contribution to occupant protection made by the body, the bonnet, the doors and the dashboard crossmember in addition to the seats and steering column, that have been designed with a view to their behaviour in the event of an accident.

In the field of preventive safety, the Alfa Romeo MiTo also offers headlights with a daytime function (known as daytime running lights) that automatically turns on the side lights when the engine is turned on – to meet a specific standard that will enter into force in 2012 – and LED tail-lights that offer greater brightness than conventional bulbs for more safety.

Maximum kit – it’s in our D.N.A.
A full house, that’s the MiTo way when talking standard equipment. A double exhaust, 17-inch alloys, front and rear foglights, rear LED taillights, Follow-me-home headlights all form part of the standard exterior package. Move indoors and the ‘full Monty’ treatment continues with remote central locking, programmable autolock, Hi-Fi stereo system with MP3 and steering controls, leather-covered steering wheel, electric windows and mirrors, climate control, sports seats and a full on-board computer being just some of the standard niceties.

The Alfa Romeo MiTo is also a distillate of technological innovation when it comes to on-board well-being. The new car is able to offer the most advanced optional devices and systems in the in-car entertainment field due to its cooperation with the very best partners in each sector.

For example, you can experience the musical lift of a Bose® Hi-fi system. Or you can access the countless functions of the Blue&Me® device (also a cost option), a system developed in conjunction with Microsoft that offers hands-free operation with a Bluetooth® interface and advanced voice recognition, USB port, MP3 player and SMS interpreter.

On the comfort front, a dual-zone automatic climate control system and a panoramic sun-roof of ample proportions are just two options that are available that contribute to the satisfaction of travelling on board the Alfa Romeo MiTo. Some of the other optional ‘toys’ include chrome wing mirror covers, a choice of 17-inch or 18-inch alloys, full leather upholstery, cruise control, sports pedals, parking sensors and a Visibility Pack which comprises auto-on headlights and wipers.

Value for money – it’s in our D.N.A.
The new Alfa Romeo MiTo 1.4 Turbopetrol will sell for the recommended launch price of R228 500 (including VAT). Enhancing the ownership prospect, the new MiTo has 30 000 km service intervals (or every 24 months) and enjoys full after-sales support in South Africa thanks to a comprehensive parts inventory (housed and distributed in an all-new, state-of-the-art facility) and the back-up of trained technicians at Alfa Romeo dealerships countrywide.

A three-year, 100 000 km Warranty (three years on paintwork and five years on rust anti-perforation) as well as a six-year 90 000 km service plan are standard.
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The new models are covered by the AA Fleetcare roadside assistance for 12 months. The service is active 24 hours a day, 365 days a year and is available by calling the dedicated toll-free number 0800 223 727.

Celebrating more than a decade of Fiat & Alfa Romeo in South Africa!