This is the Alfa Romeo Brera, replacement for the GTV and the car intended to rejuvenate the company’s reputation for making glamorous, sporty, sophisticated, elegant and desirable cars. It goes on sale here late this year, at prices starting well under £25,000.
Based on the Brera concept car revealed by Giorgetto Giugiaro and ItalDesign at the 2002 Geneva Motor Show, the most powerful Q4 versions will provide four-wheel drive and either a 200bhp 2.4 JTD diesel engine or the all-new 260bhp 3.2 V6 that Fiat Auto has been developing with General Motors. The entry-level model will be offered with a four-cylinder, GM-derived 2.2-litre JTS petrol engine and front-wheel drive. Both six-speed manuals and automatic transmissions will be offered.
Alfa has worked hard to provide mechanicals advanced enough to produce a serious challenge to the German stranglehold on dynamic capability. Rather than using the cheaper Haldex four-wheel-drive system – which distributes significant power to the rear axle only when the front wheels lose grip – the Brera is equipped with the latest Torsen C centre differential, which sends 58 per cent of the available torque to the rear wheels in normal conditions, to provide the handling balance of a rear-drive car. And, depending on grip, up to 70 per cent of torque can go to the rear wheels, or 60 per cent to the front pair.