Currently reading: Greatest road tests ever: Alfa Romeo Brera
Alfa’s striking coupé had guts to match its presence, but a lofty price and severe weight problem hampered its chances

Tested 5.7.06

Built on a shortened version of the 159’s platform, the Brera had looks that split opinion but were unmistakably Alfa. Power came not from the brand’s fabled and tuneful V6 but a less characterful GM unit, albeit with heads, pistons, induction and exhaust systems particular to Alfa. The variable four-wheel drive system was rear biased by default. At 1765kg, the Brera weighed more than some Jaguar XJs, which restricted performance to hot hatch territory and dented economy. 

The urban ride was unsettled, but it improved on challenging roads and provided reasonable comfort and good body control. Four-wheel drive curbed understeer in the wet but precluded tail slides. The steering was quick and the brakes effective if fade-prone. 

Subscribe to the Autocar Archive today

Tall front-seat occupants struggled for head room and the rear was for kids only. There was plenty of Alfa brio inside, though, with handsome design and classy materials. Equipment was no more than fair, given the Brera’s premium over the Nissan 350Z GT and the Audi TT 3.2. 

98 Alfa brera

For: Presence, laid-back V6, solid build quality 

Against: Heavy, thirsty, handling that lacked sparkle 

Price: £29,850 Engine: V6, 3195cc, petrol Power: 256bhp at 6300rpm Torque: 237lb ft at 4500rpm 0-60mph: 7.0sec 0-100mph: 18.8sec Standing quarter: 15.6sec, 91.8mph Top speed: 144mph Economy: 18.6mpg 

96 Alfa brera

Back to top

What happened next....

A 182bhp 2.2-litre petrol and 197bhp 2.4-litre diesel were also available from launch, but only the 3.2 V6 had four-wheel drive. The 2008 Brera S models — 2.2 and 3.2 — were Prodrive-fettled. 

A 2.0 diesel and 1750 TBi petrol arrived during the Brera’s 2010 swansong year. Since then, there has been no successor – yet. Over to you, Stellantis.

The Autocar archive, dating from 1895 to modern day, is now available online. Subscribe today

Join the debate

Add a comment…
Peter Cavellini 3 December 2021

A Car of ifs and buts?, it was a nice shape, it deserved to have been further developed.

eseaton 3 December 2021

Not exactly a 'Great Road Test' was it?