Front on, the new addition to the range is every inch an Alfa Romeo. The instantly recognisable shield-shaped grille denotes the lineage of the Alfa Romeo MiTo and the shape of the bonnet and the headlamps pay homage to the Alfa 8C Competizione.
The standard specification list is long and comprehensive, featuring Alfa's advanced DNA function along with the Q2 system and electric power assisted steering. In addition, this model is fitted with Vehicle Dynamic Control - an amalgamation of ABS, Anti Slip Regulation and Brake Assistant - plus Hill Holder as standard.
Other safety features include driver, passenger, front side, window and driver's knee airbags, along with fast-reaction LED rear lights and a fire prevention system. The front passenger airbag can also be deactivated.
The LED rear lights complement the height adjustable follow-me-home headlights with titanium grey surrounds, electrically adjustable and heated colour-coded door mirrors and bumpers.
All Alfa Romeo MiTo Turismo versions come with 16" wheels with unique design trims and 195/55 tyres.
Inside the cabin, driver and passengers benefit from manual air conditioning, electric one-touch window operation plus an RDS radio with CD and MP3 reader. There's also an 'auto-close' system to complement the Alfa code immobiliser and alarm system.
Drivers can choose two different cabin colours. A Sprint Black dashboard is complemented by black / grey cloth and a Sprint Red dashboard comes with a black / red cloth combination.
RIDE AND HANDLING - SUSPENSION
Key to the sporting ride and handling characteristics of the Alfa Romeo MiTo is the suspension layout.
Two tried and tested set-ups have been employed - a MacPherson layout at the front and a semi-independent layout with torsion beam at the rear.
In particular, some key elements have been incorporated to give an exclusive feel to the Alfa Romeo MiTo chassis.
To emphasise the promptness of response, stability and control, even under extreme conditions, MiTo's track widths are among the widest in the segment - 1483mm front and 1475mm rear.
The wheel rims are also wide in relation to the size of the tyres in order to optimise the latter's handling performance. The stiff, front and rear springs give the vehicle a sporting yet pliant ride, and the torsion beam features high torsional stiffness to enable it to also act as an anti-roll bar, thereby ensuring optimum roll performance and helping maximise the promptness of response.
However, the most distinctive feature of the Alfa Romeo MiTo suspension is that the front and rear dampers feature coilover springs fitted inside the shock absorber that act in parallel with the main spring during extension travel, with the main purpose of reducing roll and increasing chassis response. Special dual-acting telescopic hydraulic dampers are fitted as standard on all versions.
Three petrol engines - 1.4 16V (95bhp), 1.4 TB (120bhp) and 1.4TB (155bhp) - plus two diesel engines - 1.3 JTDM (90bhp) and 1.6 JTDM (120bhp) - will become available from launch.
Four units are mated to a 6-speed manual gearbox to deliver a punchy, responsive, driving experience, and the remaining engine (1.4 120bhp) is coupled with an equally impressive 5-speed 'box.
Distinguished by its performance, eager throttle response, low fuel consumption, durability and reliability, the new 1.4 turbocharged petrol engine powers two of the five models in the petrol line-up, with two different power outputs.
1.4 16V 95bhp
The entry level - normally aspirated - petrol unit can be specified with each of the three trim levels to deliver a spirited and willing performance.
Developing 95bhp at 6000rpm and a maximum 129Nm of torque at 4500rpm, the 1.4 16V engine is capable of accelerating the Alfa Romeo MiTo from 0-62mph in 11.2 seconds, and on to a top speed of 112mph.
An ideal partner for relaxed, around town driving, this petrol engine is mated to a 6-speed manual gearbox to make longer, motorway journeys more economical and relaxed.
Official mpg figures reveal that in urban driving, the Alfa Romeo MiTo 1.4 16V covers 36.7mpg, while long journeys will push that fuel consumption figure to 58.9mpg. The combined figure is a creditable 47.9mpg.
CO2 emissions are 138g/km and put the Alfa Romeo MiTo 1.4 16V in tax band C.
1.4 TB 120bhp Turbopetrol
New to the Alfa Romeo range, and available with all three trim levels, is a 1.4 turbocharged unit that delivers enhanced levels of driving flexibility and lively performance.
Responsive and satisfying to drive, the new 1.4 TB engine is enhanced by the low inertia of the turbocharger that makes it possible to obtain maximum performance from a throttle command, without the annoying lag typical of this type of engine.
Throttle control for this unit (and the 155bhp version) is drive-by-wire, without any mechanical connection, so that the driver can obtain the desired response from the engine with the greatest energy efficiency.
The 0-62mph sprint takes 8.8 seconds, and in fifth gear, a top speed of 123mph can be attained - impressive figures that have previously been associated with larger engines.
This 1.4 TB unit develops its maximum power of 120bhp at 5000rpm but, more impressively, produces a generous 206Nm of torque at just 1750rpm.
In turn, these characteristics help the Alfa Romeo MiTo to achieve 34.9mpg around town and 56.5mpg in the extra urban cycle, plus a combined figure of 46.3mpg.
CO2 emissions of 145g/km put the Alfa Romeo MiTo 1.4 TB 120bhp in tax band C.
1.4 TB 155bhp Turbopetrol
Only available on Lusso and Veloce versions, the new 1.4TB 155bhp unit is the top performing petrol engine in the Alfa Romeo MiTo range, delivering its maximum power at 5500rpm along with a maximum torque of 230 Nm at 3000rpm.
Quickest of the Alfa Romeo MiTo launch range, this version can accelerate from 0-62mph in just 8.0 seconds and reach a top speed of 134mph.
Despite the increase in power and performance, fuel economy remains notably competitive.
Around town, drivers can achieve 33.2mpg, while motorway journeys and the combined cycle are 53.3 and 43.5mpg respectively.
A CO2 rating of 153g/km puts the Alfa Romeo MiTo 1.4TB 155bhp in tax band D.
1.3 JTDM 90bhp
The latest generation JTDM engines are trailblazing diesel technology and Alfa Romeo is now bringing that expertise to the sporty compact car sector.
1.6 JTDM 120bhp
Representing class-leading diesel technology, this Euro 5-ready 1.6 JTDM 120bhp engine delivers a massive 320Nm of torque at just 1750rpm.
As a result, the engine is perfectly matched for drivers wanting an effective combination of low running costs with useable power and flexibility for authentic driving satisfaction.
Alfa Romeo's new injection system with new-generation variable geometry turbo engines along with the most advanced exhaust gas treatment technologies - Close Coupled Diesel Particulate Filter and an integral EGR (Exhaust Gas Recirculation) system - improves control of temperature and gas flow, simultaneously guaranteeing lower emissions and low fuel consumption.