Fortunately, you don’t need to spend north of £30,000 to sprinkle some of the car maker’s magic on your driveway. Instead, a Brera coupé, surely one of the best-looking Alfas in recent years, can be yours for just 10% of that: £3000.
That’s the price a dealer is asking for his 2007/07, 2.4-litre five-cylinder diesel Brera with 130,000 miles on the clock and full service history. It’s far from the most frugal oil-burner you can buy (around 40mpg) but it’s a warm performer (0-62mph in 8.1sec) that lives for long drives.
It’s a tried and trusted Fiat lump that uses a simple timing belt rather than the expensive and unpredictable chains that do service on the Brera’s GM petrol engines. One thing, though: if it’s had a new timing belt, check the water pump was replaced at the same time (see ‘Buyer beware’ below).
The Brera arrived late in 2005 to whoops of delight at its exterior and interior styling but disappointment over its pace and handling – a criticism that would be addressed with the arrival in 1998 of the lightened, limited-run 2.2 and 3.2 S Prodrive models but never silenced.
Launch engines were a choice of 182bhp 2.2 and spine-tingling 256bhp 3.2 V6 petrols (both GM blocks with Alfa heads) or that 2.4 diesel with 200bhp and 295lb ft of torque. The standard gearbox was a six-speed manual, although the 2.2 could be specified with optional Q-tronic auto. The V6 was fourwheel drive with a Torsen diff, the remaining Breras front-wheel drive. A front-drive 3.2 V6 arrived in 2010.
A 167bhp 2.0-litre four-pot diesel landed that same year, promising 52mpg and 0-62mph in 8.5sec. It’s worth tracking down, if only for its £145 road tax charge, compared with the 2.4’s £230. But the really interesting engine, and the best ever to find a home under the Brera’s handsome bonnet, is the 197bhp 1750 TBi. This direct-injection, turbocharged petrol unit, capable of 0-62mph in 7.5sec and a handy 34mpg, replaced the V6 in 2010.