The new Alfa Brera, a sports coupe in the classic Alfa Romeo tradition, goes on sale in the UK on Saturday 8 April.
Designed by Giorgetto Giugiaro in collaboration with Alfa Romeo Centro Stile, and built by Pininfarina, the road-going Alfa Brera remains remarkably true to the stunning, multi award winning coupe concept first shown to global acclaim at the 2002 Geneva Motor Show. It combines superlative engineering with outstanding performance, and handling characteristics appropriate to the pedigree of one of the world’s most famous sporting marques.
Six versions of the new Alfa Brera, priced from £22,800 - £29,850 on-the-road, will be available from launch, with a choice of powerful direct injection petrol or diesel powerplants, and two trim levels. Two new petrol engines - a 2.2 litre 185 bhp 4-cylinder unit, and (available one month after the launch date) a 3.2 litre 260 bhp V6 - combine with Alfa Romeo’s widely acclaimed 2.4 litre 20v 200 bhp MultiJet (JTDM) unit to offer UK customers an enticing range of alternative dynamic packages.
With specific power outputs of over 80 bhp/litre, and almost 90% of maximum torque available at just 2000 rpm, both petrol JTS (Jet Thrust Stoichiometric) units boast outstanding performance, yet offer significant fuel savings and readily comply with the stringent Euro Stage 4 exhaust emission limits. Both these advanced direct injection engines feature continuously variable valve timing governing both inlet and exhaust camshafts.
Continuing the company’s on-going pre-eminence in the field of diesel technology, the latest example of Alfa Romeo’s renowned JTD MultiJet (JTDM) common rail direct injection diesel engine technology completes the range; a 2.4 litre 20 valve 200 bhp 5-cylinder powerplant, featuring variable geometry turbocharging and incorporating a ‘for life’, maintenance-free particulate trap (DPF) in anticipation of Euro 5 emissions regulations.
2.2 JTS versions of the new Alfa Romeo are mated to an M32.6 6-speed manual gearbox, whilst 3.2 JTS and 2.4 JTDM models are equipped with the F40 6-speed manual transmission. And 3.2 JTS engined versions of the Brera are equipped, as standard, with Alfa Romeo’s Q4 permanent four-wheel drive system. Q4 employs three differentials, with a self-locking Torsen C unit at the centre of the system which in normal conditions divides drive torque by a ratio of 57% to the rear wheels and 43% to the front. Torque split between front and rear axles is constantly modulated by the central Torsen differential on the basis of available grip, with a bias towards the rear axle promoting handling characteristics appropriate to an Alfa Romeo coupe.
Sharing an all-new platform and components with the Alfa 159, albeit on a 175 mm shorter wheelbase optimised for appropriate handling responses, the chassis of the new Alfa Brera combines a proven high double wishbone front suspension system with a new, sophisticated multilink rear configuration. The combination generates smooth, accurate steering response, exceptional stability and controllability - even when close to adhesion limits, and first class body control allied to remarkable comfort over all road surface conditions.
The 2.2 JTS Alfa Brera’s braking system comprises powerful, 305 mm ventilated front discs and 278 mm solid discs at the rear. Models powered by the 3.2 JTS petrol and 2.4 JTDM MultiJet turbodiesel engines feature larger, 330 mm ventilated discs with Brembo four piston monobloc aluminium callipers at the front, and 292 mm ventilated discs at the rear for even greater, fade-free stopping power.
The Alfa Brera offers direct, lively and responsive speed-sensitive power assisted steering, with a rack requiring only 2.25 turns lock-to-lock; the most direct steering in its class. The turning circle is just 10.7 m between kerbs.
Both passive and active safety features are comprehensively represented in the new Brera. In addition to up to eight airbags, seven of which are standard equipment, seatbelt pre-tensioners and a fully integrated Fire Prevention System, the new car comes with a comprehensive range of state-of-the-art electronic braking, traction control and stability systems fitted as standard. ABS anti-lock braking is combined with Electronic Brakeforce Distribution over all four wheels, and a sophisticated switchable Vehicle Dynamic Control unit enhances cornering stability. VDC is further augmented by ASR to limit wheelspin during acceleration, MSR to modulate braking torque when changing down through the gears, and a unique Hill Holder function to facilitate smooth hill starts.
The new Alfa Brera is available in two trim levels; Brera and Brera SV. As with all Alfa Romeo models, driver orientated ergonomics, superior passenger comfort and lavish standard equipment levels are fundamental to the interior design of the new sports car. The Brera boasts a notably generous standard equipment specification, offering, even at entry-level, many features only available as expensive options on rival models, including automatic Dual Zone climate control, cruise control, ‘Follow Me Home’ headlamps, a multi-function display and trip computer, fog lights, 16" or 17" spoked alloy wheels and an RDS 6-speaker stereo radio with CD player.
Optional equipment includes xenon headlamps, satellite navigation (either independent or incorporated within bCONNECT), electrically adjustable front seats, a Bose sound system, Bluetooth mobile phone connectivity and 18" alloy wheels.
Alfa’s innovative bCONNECT on-line telematics system connects the driver to an extensive range of services via a live phone link to an English speaking operator, as well as including an impressive satellite navigation system. bCONNECT incorporates voice commands with a 6.5" colour display screen, and is complemented by a Dual Band GSM phone with WAP Internet access, satellite navigation and a CD sound system that will play MP3 music files.Published 2 April 2006