Alfa Romeo Brera gets Prodrive tweaks and set-up for British roads
20 May 2008

Alfa Romeo is launching a new, Prodrive-engineered version of the Brera coupe and cabriolet to address criticism of the standard car’s handling. Developed ‘specifically for UK roads’ by Prodrive, the Brera S will be available with either 185bhp 2.2-litre or a 260bhp V6 petrol engines. The car has the same power as a standard Brera, with changes made to the suspension, styling and interior. There’s also a new exhaust system that gives a more aggressive engine note.Prodrive has developed new springs and dampers for the car to suit UK roads and driving styles. The tuning company claims that roll and pitch have been cut to make the car corner flatter and make it feel more agile, and the ride height had been lowered by 10mm to cut the centre of gravity. New, lighter 19-inch wheels along with hollow anti-roll bars and aluminium suspension components help to reduce unsprung mass.“The car is deliberately honed, tuned and fettled for British roads and aimed directly at a dedicated audience of driving enthusiasts,” said Alfa UK’s MD, Nicholas Bernard.Inside there’s a new ‘dark finish’ trim option for the centre console and the V6 version gets a leather dashboard as standard. The headrest carries an inset, limited edition Brera S aluminium plate.The modifications are unique to the UK market and are carried out by Prodrive at Alfa Romeo’s import centre in Bristol on cars straight off the boat from Italy. Performance is unaffected by the changes - top speed for the 2.2 is still 139mph, with a 0-62mph time of 8.6sec. The V6’s top speed remains 155mph with a 0-62mph time of 7.0sec.500 Brera S models will be built, and prices start at £24,995 for the 2.2 JTS (£1495 more than the standard car) rising to £28,450 for the V6 (a £1455 premium).

Dan Stevens

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20 May 2008

It will be VERY interesting to read the story when you guys drive this thing. As an Alfa fan, I'm just willing that Prodrive have worked magic on the car.

21 May 2008

Sounds rather tasty.

More importantly though - has anyone been able to test any Alfa that have come out of the factory since the massive re-fit of a couple of months ago?

Reliability has always been the only thing stopping me getting an Alfa. It looks like they're making real efforts to address that now, but it'd be good to get an update on what the results were.

msg to our Autocar overlords - how about a test piece on a Brera and 159 from the turn of the year vs a Brera and 159 fresh from the factory? With the complete re-tooling and closure of the factory for weeks, you'd expect there to be tangible differences. Have Alfa finally started to get the quality issue on track?

21 May 2008

I would have an alfa without any hesitation, the only thing that stops me is the fact I don’t have a dealer anywhere near. Last month I ordered a Audi TT TDI, I would have had an Alfa GT 1.9JTDm Q2 in black had I had local dealer support.

21 May 2008

Interesting stuff. Everyone is willing them to succeed. That car is achingly good looking too. It seems that reliability and dealer support are the two important things to crack. Autocar - any experience ?

22 May 2008

I won't say Alfas are as reliable as say, an old Corolla, but neither are they half as bad as common opinion seems to dictate. The problem with Alfa has always been with the dealers and their horrible support, so that any small issue soon turns into a headache that requires 3 visits to correct. I've owned an Alfa 164 V6 Cloverleaf for nearly a decade and a half, and it hasn't been any more unreliable than my current daily driver, a BMW 330i Coupe. It has covere over 150k miles with no work done to the motor or transmission, and has its original dampers and ancilliaries, other than the water pump which is repleaced automatically whenever the timing belt was done, and it has never failed to start. In 14 years it did leave me stranded three times, two directly due to my lack of scheduled maintenance (seized pulleys & belts), and the other from me being cheap and letting the clutch run out completely. The only major problem I've had was with the electrical system, which required a new main fuse box. I've had a couple of dash lamps burnout and occasioanally the power window and seat switches (made by Bosch in Germany) do stick, but otherwise, everything still works. My advice is find a reputable private specialist and you'll have a trouble free and wonderful car for years. My BMW, on the other hand has had numerous electrical niggles, but the dealer is so accommodating that it's easy to forget that it is not, as many would have you believe, a perfect example of perfect German engineering. On a side note, my cousin's '05 M3 needed a new motor after only 13k miles due to faulty main bearings...You be the judge, but perception is not always reality.

23 May 2008

Listen guys, at some point, if you really do want an Alfa, just bite the bullet and get one. I have and not regretted one minute of it. Reliability has not been a problem, as regards to dealers not caring, just do your homework and pick one that comes recommended. Again, E S Jones in Harwarden nr. Chester is great. Excellent pre-sales and post sales, yes things could be more in line with what you expect from so called premium brand dealers but on the whole I cannot complain. 25,000 miles in my 159 on a 56 plate obviously pre re tooling, not rattles or problems what so ever.

26 May 2008

For me the overall question has to be why didn't Alfa go down this route during development, and why has it not been adopted as a standard fitment?

This is a UK only car. Considering the price of these vehicles and the limited amount that are sold in the UK, design, development and build of the additional / replacement parts must be negligible in comparison to what Alfa must spend as a company during the initial design stage.

Before we have been told that British roads are pretty much unique and if a car works here, then it will work anywhere. So why not transfer that to general production for all cars?

If I were in control of Alfa, I would have to be swallowing my pride right now. Either that or kicking the engineers in charge of suspension development.



It's all about the twisties........

27 May 2008

Teg, the problem is that the development costs for the platforms etc. should have been shared with Saab who went so far with the job then decided to drop out leaving Alfa with the deadline approaching and suddenly holding chassis that they had not had much involvement in, too late to change they were stuck and had to run with it.

The next generation should be more like what Alfa originally wanted, starting with the 159.

4 April 2014
This car can't be replaced soon enough imo.


ts converter

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