What is it?
Alfa has decided to use the still-new Mito as the launch pad for its ‘revolutionary’ Multiair engines. Initially, they will come in 1.4-litre capacities as a naturally aspirated 103bhp unit, a 132bhp turbo and a 167bhp turbo.
The Cloverleaf also gets a new six-speed gearbox, revised steering and stop-start technology. All of which is rather promising, because ride, gearchange and steering were our main areas of complaint with the original Mito.
What’s it like?
Hands up: we got it wrong. In our initial road test of the Mito we reported that it had adjustable dampers, which it didn’t. In our defence, someone at Alfa Romeo had told us it did, and explained exactly how the non-existent system worked.
It’s now clear how such a slip could have happened, because the new range-topping Cloverleaf Mito has – wait for it – adjustable dampers. So the information wasn’t so much incorrect as premature.
The result is certainly an improvement. The electric steering is less springy and the new gearbox has a more positive, direct action. But do the new dampers solve the ride issues?
Around Glasgow, with the DNA switch in Normal, there’s too much crash for our liking, but in Dynamic the ride improves. The body is still displaced by bumps, but the damping is better. Out of town, a challenging B-road confirms Dynamic as the preferred mode, with both more body control on turn-in and more compliancy when you need it (over crests, for instance).
We had no complaints about the 153bhp Mito’s performance, but the Cloverleaf’s extra 15bhp is still welcome, especially since it comes with lower emissions and better fuel economy. Multiair brings a crispness and strength to the low-end response that defies the forced induction, too.
Should I buy one?
It’s still no Clio Cup, but this is the best Mito yet and well worth a look.
The Multiair system, meanwhile, is a transformational piece of technology. Watch it closely.