Alfa Romeo has unveiled the Alfa Mito, a £12,000 sporting supermini that takes it straight back into Alfasud territory. Due to be officially launched in June, the Alfa Mi.To should start reaching buyers in Italy and the largest European left-hand-drive markets from July. UK customers can expect to see it in right-hand-drive just before the end of the year. There’s a good chance it will be shown at London’s motor show in July. The new Alfa Mito, whose use of the first two letters of “Milan” and “Turin” mark the fact that is it designed in the first and built in the second, is based on highly modified Fiat Punto Abarth architecture. There had been much conjecture that the car would be called Junior, a name associated with past Alfas and widely used as a code-name during the car’s gestation. However, Alfa officials believe the tag would not work well in some markets.The Mito, available only as a three-door, has an all-new body design with design cues that refer directly to the Alfa 8C Competizione, which Alfa bosses now call their “icon of style and technology”. This new design style signals the beginning of a new Alfa generation that will grow rapidly as new models (starting with the Golf-sized 149) are launched towards the end of the decade.The exterior style picks up on the 8C’s generously rounded body sections, with round headlights and LED tail lights. It has a deep Alfa shield grille, and arrow-like bonnet swage lines straight from the 8C. The Mito sits on a generous 2510mm wheelbase that promises a roomy rear package. It is around 30mm longer than a Grande Punto at 4.06m, but 50mm lower to stress the low seating position and sporty character. The Mito, one of the market’s biggest superminis, will be launched with a choice of four turbocharged petrol and diesel engines, ranging in power between 90bhp and 155bhp. Alfa insiders aren’t keen to go into details, but the 90bhp unit is almost certain to be an Alfa version of the Fiat Group’s super-frugal 1.3-litre JTD four-cylinder engine, while the top-power launch engine is believed to be a 1.4-litre petrol turbo unit, related to performance versions of the Fiat Punto Abarth and Bravo but with special Alfa-only tuning packages that affect power, response and engine note. Alfa engineers are at pains to stress the different characters of Fiat and Alfa products, which they insist are on divergent courses.Once in production, Alfa is likely to launch a top performance version of the Mito, likely to be badged GTA, which insiders promise will have the most powerful engines in the sector. This promises an output even higher than the 190bhp-plus outputs of the Renault Clio Cup and Vauxhall Corsa VXR, currently the sector’s most powerful cars. Alfa’s entry is almost certain to be a powerful turbo, in line with the rest of the engine range. Alfa Romeo, aware that its past sales have been affected by poor reliability and patchy dealer performance, recently completed a radical overhaul of its own UK importing procedures. The company now has its own inspection centre that actually road tests every car. The company believes the Mito has the potential to lift UK volume from the present 7000 units towards 15,000, with more gains in prospect as extra new models — notably the 147 replacement, called 149 — come on stream. In the heady Alfasud days, Alfa’s UK volume for a time exceeded 30,000 units.