‘The sportiest mini’ is launched to the press automotive media in Milan. These are the first official details. A select South African press contingency will experience the newcomer first-hand on the 2nd and 3rd July.
With the MiTo, Alfa Romeo wishes to offer a new generation of ‘Alfisti’ THE SPORTIEST MINI.
An up-to-date and innovative car, a name redolent of history: The name MiTo has great evocative resonance for Alfa Romeo for it was chosen to mark the deep-seated link between the past and future of the brand: between Milan, the city of design that brought to the car’s style into being, and Turin, which will be responsible for its industrial production A decision that highlights the brand’s strong desire to consolidate its Milanese roots.
The Alfa 8C is the technical and stylistic mould for all our cars in the future. The Alfa 8C represents all that is good about the Alfa spirit and has been an essential source of inspiration for the construction of the Alfa Romeo MiTo.
The MiTo is a distillate of pure Alfa Romeo values and came about as a result of a will to give every Alfa Romeo, however compact, a specific attitude of its own made up of sensual style, agility and technical excellence – all with the ultimate goal of driving satisfaction.
The MiTo packs all the Alfa Romeo values into 4 metres. For young people, it represents a chance to gain access their first sports car that is safe with its own distinctive style and technical content. Its dynamic attributes, good fuel economy and low emissions and petite dimensions also make the car an attractive proposition for a more adult audience, within a motoring scenario that now seems to set a premium on downsizing.
The Alfa Romeo MiTo is a form of baptism into the Alfa religion for a new generation of Alfisti, opening up horizons of sportiness to the female audience that is essential to the success of any car of this category.
The car offers an outstanding weight-to-power ratio, absolute manageability due to cutting-edged suspension systems and direct steering, all features present for the first time on a car of this category.
The MiTo, like any Alfa Romeo, is a distillate of state-of-the-art engineering including very special features such as the Alfa D.N.A. system, suspension with coilover springs, Q2 Electronic and DST, all available as standard – coupled with small yet powerful turbo engines.
Sporty and compact, Italian style
The MiTo is the first new car to be built by Alfa since the 8C Competizione – Alfa Romeo’s icon of style and technology, from which it borrows certain characteristic traits: The particular shape of the side windows described by the flush windows, the three-lobed motif that distinguishes the front bumper, the shape of the headlights and the LED tail-lights. The headlight and tail-light surrounds represent a distinctive personalised feature: A frame featuring different forms of material processing and colours to create an ultra-stylish eye-liner effect that underscores the cars style and aggression. 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 engines 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.
Performance and technology for an exhilarating yet safe drive.
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 display 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 mechanical units that can accommodate even sudden movements in safety. 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, the Alfa Romeo MiTo 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 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 and environmentally-friendly engines
Driving satisfaction means also being able to count on lively and reliable power units. Those provided with the Alfa MiTo are state-of-the-art as far as automotive engineering is concerned in terms of technology, performance and respect for the environment. The engines available at launch will be the 114 kW 1.4 Turbopetrol, 88 kW 1.6 JTDM and an aspirated 1.4 engine of limited power (58 kW) for those who have recently passed their tests. Each with different qualities, all utilised to the full due to pairing with 6-speed manual gearboxes that are individually remarkable for their generosity and lively temperament and also for their high performance and sophisticated technology.
In particular, the 88 kW 1.6 JTDM is the best engine in its category in terms of specific power (it can achieve a mighty torque of 320 Nm at just 1750 rpm), while also boasting 80% lower particulate emissions and 20% lower CO2 emissions than previous generation power units. In the same way, the top of the range car in terms of power – the 114 kW 1.4 turbopetrol – offers extraordinary performance for this capacity (top speed of 215 km/h and acceleration from 0 to 100 km/h in just 8.0 seconds) with a 30% reduction in fuel consumption and CO2 emissions compared to cars of the previous generation. Not to mention the fact that Alfa Romeo power units may be distinguished by their unmistakable sound that emphasises the unique nature of the car while complying fully with type approval constraints and environmental aspects.
At a later stage, the Alfa Romeo MiTo engine range will be further extended to include higher power ratings and the introduction of other new features such as the Multiair electronically controlled valve lift system and the innovative DDCT (double clutch) automatic transmission.
Multiair technology is an innovative electronic intake valve control system that meters the air delivered to the chamber during each combustion cycle without having to use a conventional throttle valve, significantly cutting fuel consumption, improving engine response, and making the car more fun to drive.
The secret behind the Multair system is a small oil chamber located between the cam and the intake valve: the volume of oil in this camber can by varied by means of an on-off solenoid valve managed by an electronic control unit. In this way, the cam lift profile can be varied steplessly to match changing engine air demand.
Conceptually, the DDCT Dual Dry Clutch Transmission consists of two transmissions in parallel, each with its own clutch. This makes it possible to select and engage a gear while the other transmission continues to transit drive via another gear. Gear shifts are thus accomplished by gradually switching between the two clutches, ensuring constant torque delivery and traction. The result: peerless driving comfort and responsive handling that far exceeds anything conventional automatic transmissions can offer, combined with higher efficiency and fuel economy.
Segment-beating safety and dynamic behaviour
The Alfa Romeo MiTo was built to obtain the maximum Euro NCAP rating in the future. For this reason, the new model unveils 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 these systems guarantee both driving safety and vehicle traction – hence performance.
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 in-car wellbeing
The Alfa Romeo MiTo is also a distillate of technological innovation when it comes to on-board well-being. The new car is also able to offer the most advanced 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 radio with CD—MP3 player or, as an option, steering wheel controls and a Bose® Hi-fi. Or you can access the countless functions of the Blue&Me® device, a system developed in conjunction with Microsoft that offers handsfree operation with a Bluetooth® interface and advanced voice recognition, USB port, MP3 player and SMS interpreter, also available on the MiTo in the two latest versions, i.e. NAV (with pictogram navigation systems) and MAP (with a navigation system on a remote display applied to a special port on the dashboard). The navigation option wont be available on models destined for South Africa.
Lastly, a dual zone automatic climate control system and in the future a panoramic sun-roof of ample proportions contribute to the satisfaction of travelling on board the Alfa Romeo MiTo.
Diverse range and custom purchase packages
The Alfa Romeo MiTo is designed for and demanding customers who love to stand out in a crowd and offers two specification levels (Progression and Distinctive); two special Packs (Sport and Premium); 7 different seat trims plus upholstery in top quality ‘Pelle Frau’ leather; 2 Progression interior colours with Sprint dashboard; 3 interior colours with Competizione dashboard; 2 seat colours for the Sport Pack; 3 ‘Pelle Frau’ colours complete the range of interiors. Five types of alloys are also available (from 16’ to 18’) and 10 body shades, of which 5 metallic, that reflects every facet of the sporting soul of the new Alfa Romeo (no fewer than 6 colours have been introduced for the first time on the Alfa Romeo MiTo). These are then combined with 2 non-standard colours for the taillight and headlight frames (in addition to the specific Progression and Distinctive colours) and the frames may also be body-coloured as an option. This broad and diverse range confirms the unique nature of the new model. Exact specs for South African models will be disclosed closer to the local launch, which is scheduled for mid-2009.
Alfa draws on its roots to launch itself into the future
Going back through Alfa Romeo’s epic history means turning some of the most important pages of motoring history.
It means remembering the cars, races and engines that become milestones of technological progress and the sporting events of the 20th century. Yet the Alfa Romeo story is about so much more than just steel and track, there is also a human component, essentially based on the skill of great technicians and engineers such as Merosi, Jano and Satta Puliga the meticulous creativity of designers such as Prof. Scarnati and the architect Cressoni, and also the experience of all the people on the shop floor.
These people successfully transferred the thrills that Alfa brought to racing to the roads of every day.
The best spirit of Alfa Romeo is beautifully encapsulated in this statement by Orazio Satta Puliga (1910-1974), one of the brand’s great designers: ‘Alfa Romeo is not just a car factory: its cars are something more than automobiles built in a conventional manner. Enthusiasm for a means of transport is a kind of disease. It is a way of life, a very special way of seeing a motor vehicle. Something that defies definition. Its elements are like those irrational traits of the human spirit that cannot be explained by logic’.
Today Alfa’s cars are determined to carry on ‘being Alfa’ – and the MiTo’s driving qualities, style and engineering make it the perfect vessel to convey these values to a new generation of ‘Alfisti’.
The Alfa Romeo MiTo web and digital projects
Alfa Romeo’s aim is to travel at the same speed as the new generation of ‘Alfisti’ for whom the Alfa Romeo MiTo has been created. The communication media most familiar and close to this audience of 18-30 year olds are first and foremost digital media, the internet and mobile phones. For this reason, the brand has decided to use digital vocabulary, advertising the Alfa Romeo MiTo using increasingly innovative platforms.
In particular, Alfa Romeo intends to control the internet in corporate terms and also through campaigns to promote social networking and the active involvement of browsers.
The redesign brand website alfaromeo.it attracts more than 220,000 hits each month for a total of 1.3 million pages. It devotes its home page to the Alfa Romeo MiTo and also a special information section packed with copy, photographs and 3D images. On 19 June it will also offer the opportunity of configuring Alfa Romeo’s new baby.
alfamitoblog.com, the first brand blog written and managed in 5 languages, dedicated to the Alfa Romeo MiTo and all fans of the car, is a bold attempt to take control of the blogosphere. This platform is innovative because it makes available content relating to the car (that members can comment upon) but also makes stars of the bloggers themselves. The proposed video content is produced together with users: The block editors identify the young people who are most active on the site and invite them to live out an entire ‘Alfa Romeo experience’, a day of test drives, a visit to the historical museum and a tour of the style centre. The pivotal moment of this full immersion in the world of Alfa is a test drive of the Mito on a track with expert drivers and a meeting with the technicians, designers and engineers who helped to develop the car. And on 19 June, a tool will also go on line that makes it possible to complete a virtual journey in the company of the Alfa Romeo MiTo, a journey when it will be possible to discover the technical specifications of the vehicle and also to configure it interactively by choosing rational parameters and also aspects designed to appeal to the emotions, such as music.
This site can be reached through the Alfa Romeo website or by entering mitour.alfaromeo.it It will stimulate the creativity and participation of users who will be able to load what they wish to configure on the Alfa Romeo MiTo model.
With the aim of coming even closer to its target audience and of becoming even more innovative and fully digital, Alfa Romeo has for the first time introduced a large-scale mobile marketing campaign focused on the Alfa Romeo MiTo and active in 10 markets for 10 weeks. Via alfamito.mobi – a WAP site that can be reached by Internet mobile – you can discover the Alfa Romeo MiTo through video, information and interesting titbits. You can also choose ring tones for your mobile phone from long MiTo playlists. The campaign also takes the form of WAP banners and recall actions (carried out during the open door event period) by means of SMSs and MMSs that indicate the nearest dealers where you can find and test an Alfa Romeo MiTo.
Alfa Romeo MiTo and Music: An Alfa Red summer
Passion for music and the energy of big live concerts are two main concepts that find an immediate association with the values that the new Alfa Romeo vehicle sets out to convey. Urban spaces in great metropolises that become arenas for one night only, pouring vitality and force into the city, are the ideal places for the Alfa Romeo MiTo to show itself to its audience: dynamic, agile and passionate.
For this reason, the new car will link its name to the key events of the Italian summer of music, confirming its desire as a brand to support music in all forms. Alfa Romeo has always been a byword for emotion and sportiness and approaches the world of the young by offering them good-looking, high-performing and safe cars while also exploring sponsoring cultural events that most effectively express dynamism and energy.
Chiming perfectly with this communication strategy, this summer the ‘sportiest mini’ will accompany top level concerts, bands, singers and sessions. The Alfa Romeo MiTo will adopt this varied and direct approach to mark the values it shares with Music through its star-studded array of past and present legendary and mythical cars. The very name, ‘MiTo’ or myth, has a strong evocative meaning.
First of all, the Alfa Romeo MiTo will be the Main Sponsor of the 2008 edition of La Milanesiana, a festival staged from 27 June to 11 July with 33 dates on the calendar and 120 international guests on the bill. In the same way, the brand will also again act as Main Sponsor (again with a new car) of the fifth edition of Traffic, one of the most important contemporary musical events in Europe, due to take place in Turin from 8 to 12 July. This year, the main theme will be punk music and the rock scene in general, to celebrate the reunion of one of the most symbolic bands of this genre: the Sex Pistols.
For the first time in its history, the Turinese festival will reach the Lombard capital of Milan to seal the special relationship linking the cities of Milan and Turin, as embodied by the name of the new Alfa Romeo car. This extraordinary event is set for 7 July, when the brand will organise an event entitled ‘Alfa Romeo MiTo presents Traffic at MJF08’: a free concert by Justice, a well-known electronic music duo of French origin who will play at the Milan Arena Civica. The evening will take place on the eve of MJF08 (the Milano Jazzin’ Festival 2008) to promote Traffic and the Alfa Romeo MiTo in a privileged context. alfamitoblog.com will be the web platform made available to users who register their tickets for the Justice concert on 7 July in Milan.
From 8 July, Alfa Romeo MiTo will also be Presenting Sponsor of MJF08, the ‘Music park in the heart of Milan’. This event, now in its second year, will represent a kaleidoscope of concerts, cultural and artistic events and shows linked by the common denominator of ‘good music’: Lenny Kravitz, REM, Pat Metheny, Paul Simon and Subsonica, are only some examples of the artists involved. Alfa Romeo MiTo will accompany these and other artists on days when performances take place and will also be permanently present near the Arena Civica in Milan, one of the city’s symbolic sites that will act as the heart of MJF08. Not to mention the fact that the Alfa Romeo MiTo will sponsor MJF Club, an exclusive place within the Palazzina Civica of Parco Sempione where it will be possible to meet musical artists and celebrities.
The Alfa Romeo MiTo will also sponsor ‘MITO SettembreMusica’, an International Music Festival Internazionale that will join, for the second year running, the cities of Milan and Turin in a crowded calendar of music that will range from classic to contemporary and jazz to rock taking in world music and pop on the way.