Despite displacing just 1742cc, it not only pumps out 200bhp without feeling remotely over-tuned, it twists out an amazing 236lb ft of torque from only 1400rpm.
It’s an achievement that would shame many diesels, very few of which could match this motor’s near six-pot smoothness and flexibility. The ratios in the six-speed ’box are also particularly well matched to this engine.
Under the skin, the Brera is a notably sophisticated machine, benefiting from double wishbone front suspension, unusual in a front-driver.
However, in the UK at least, the Brera is no more than an occasionally entertaining drive. It has some enthusiasm for turning into bends and a satisfying mid-range turn of speed.
The Brera’s bulk works against it being flung around, although it can be made to string a series of B-road bends together with something approaching elegance.
The Brera didn’t much like the short-wave undulations and changing surfaces of Surrey’s backroads either, which caused it to hop, patter and fidget. Shown a smooth stretch of road, the 1750 Brera is potentially a decent GT. Sadly, such roads are rarely on the UK’s option list.
Should I buy one?
That’s hard to say, because this is such a singular machine. And Alfas that look this good tend to be an instinctive purchase. Purist driving enthusiasts won’t get much from this Alfa, however.
Leisure drivers who fancy a well-made weekend Tourer (albeit effectively a two-seater) might like it, though. It looks fantastic, the engine is superb and the all-round feel-good factor of ownership will be enough for some. It’s best in base form at £25,205, though.
Alfa Brera 1750 TBi
Price: £25,205; Price as tested: £30,450; Top speed: 146mph; 0-62mph: 7.7sec; Economy: 34.9mpg; CO2: 189g/km; Engine: 4cyl, 1742cc, turbopetrol; Power: 200bhp at 5000rpm; Torque: 236lb ft at 1400rpm; Gearbox: 6-spd manual
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