Alfa Romeo plans meaty MiTo for 2010

* GTA version of new MiTo supermini * 230bhp from turbocharged 1.8-litre engine * On sale in early 2010 for under 20,000...

25 June 2008

Alfa Romeo plans meaty MiTo for 2010

Alfa Romeo has announced a fire-breathing GTA version of its gorgeous new MiTo supermini.

The Italian firm promises a jaw-dropping 230bhp power output, thanks to a turbocharged 1.8-litre, direct-injection petrol engine that'll lie underneath the GTA's sculpted bonnet.

That's way more than rivals such as the Renault Clio 197 and Vauxhall Corsa VXR can muster.

Alfa can't yet tell us exactly how fast the GTA will be, but the engineers are confident it'll blaze through the 0-62mph sprint in around six seconds.

To keep all that power on the straight-and-narrow, the GTA will undergo a range of changes underneath, including a wider track and fatter tyres than the standard MiTo. That's in addition to all the standard car's sophisticated driving aids.

These include the 'DNA' system, which tailors the behaviour of the engine, brakes steering, suspension and gearbox according to which of the three settings you've selected - Dynamic (for sporty driving), Normal (for everyday town driving) or All-weather (for low-grip conditions).

There's also an electronic Q2 system, which uses the car's braking and stability control systems to provide the effect of a limited-slip differential when accelerating in a bend. The system applies the brakes when the inside wheel loses grip, transferring the drive to the outside wheel, which has more traction.

You'll have to be patient, though. The rest of the MiTo range goes on sale in the UK in January 2009, and the GTA is expected to join the line-up at the beginning of 2010.

The price of the GTA remains a mystery, but Alfa says it should cost less than 20,000.