British Motor Show - Alfa Romeo MiTo

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Alfa Romeo is synonymous with style - so much so that even its supermini is oozing it.

Sharper-eyed visitors to Alfa's stand at the show will notice visual similarities between the MiTo and Alfa Romeo's 8C Competizione supercar, which can only be a good thing.

It's no accident, either. Alfa's new supermini is the first of a range of new products that'll be taking style tips from the 8C.

It's also a clear statement of intent. Alfa is aiming the MiTo squarely at the Mini, and is confident it can steal the Mini's mantle as the sportiest car in the supermini class.

The range starts at £10,795 for the 95bhp 1.4-litre version, and rises to £14,975 for the range-topping turbocharged 1.4.

That's expensive by supermini standards but, crucially, still undercuts the equivalent Mini by about £1000.

Internal affairs
That lavish design isn't just confined to the outside of the car, either - the interior has its fair share of flair.

The standard of materials is higher than you'll find in most superminis, while interesting shapes, silver detailing and digital displays give the cabin a classy, grown-up ambience.

Although it doesn't go on sale in the UK until January, we've already driven the MiTo - and our early impressions are good.

Even though the MiTo shares the same platform as the Fiat Grande Punto, it's had a host of revisions to ensure it drives more sharply and it features Alfa's new 'DNA' system.

This tailors the behaviour of the engine, steering and stability control using three different settings - Dynamic (for sporty driving), Normal (for everyday town driving), or All-weather (for low-grip conditions). See, DNA - get it?

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