Alfa Romeo Brera - the order books open
As a design concept - by Giugiaro - the Brera has been winning plaudits from the world's press and styling gurus ever since its debut some three years ago. The production version will go on sale at the end of this year, and the Milanese company have revealed more details of the coupe that is set to inherit the mantle of superior GT Alfas of the past. Iconic motor cars like the 1900 SS, Giulietta Sprint, Alfetta and Giulia Sprint GT.
The Alfa Brera is 183 centimetres wide, 441 cm long and 137 cm high with a wheelbase of 252 cm, although the sharply tapered front and rear make the model look very compact. Inside, the Alfa Brera also offers a welcoming, well-lit and highly sophisticated environment due to the use of luxury materials and the adoption of innovative products, e.g. a generous fixed glass roof that allows more light into the car and gives passengers a greater sense of space as well as setting off the car's slender shape to greater effect. Under the bonnet the car will initially come with a choice of two petrol units: a 185 bhp 2.2 four-cylinder, and a 260 bhp 3.2 V6, both feturing JTS (Jet Thrust Stoichiometric) direct injection and meeting Euro 4 environmental standards. They are also paired with 6-speed manual gearboxes.
In keeping with its luxury-segment aspirations, the new car uses top-quality materials and treats certain areas, such as the seats, in a certain way giving the entire passenger compartment a very Italian look. In the cockpit, round dials and air outlets with smooth aluminium trim define the entire passenger compartment and makes the interior more compact and wraparound. The seats also feature smooth lines and a flocked stitching pattern that emphasises their shape. The rear seats can be folded down to extend the luggage compartment from 300 to 610 litres, a value that makes the most of the generous load platform; when a Bose® Hi-Fi system is fitted, the volume increases from 236 (plus 20 litres in the cargo box under the load platform) to 546 litres.
The centre of the Alfa Brera dashboard houses a built-in radio and all controls for the automatic dual zone climate control system. The radio plus CD player (or MP3 player as an option), offers Bose® sound quality and was designed and built for the car. It consists of six speakers and delivers a power output of 570 Watts. The Alfa Brera adds other devices and systems to this equipment level such as: VDC, Xenon headlights and seven airbags; infotelematic system with radio and phone controls on the steering wheel, Bose® Hi-Fi system and CD-changer; Cruise Control ; 16", 17" and 18" alloy wheels.
The new car should exhibit fine handling charecteristics via a high double wishbone suspension at the front and a Multilink suspension at the rear. The Alfa Brera will combine a sporty ride with a very comfortable drive, and also offers a state-of-the-art Alfa Q4 four wheel drive on the 3.2 JTS.
Final word to the car's designer, Giorgetto Giugiaro: 'I designed the Brera because Alfa Romeo will never go out of fashion', he stated. 'When we premièred the car I referred to as a 'very sexy' Alfa Romeo sports model in 2002 in Geneva, I didn't know it would ever go beyond the prototype stage: all I knew was that the concept could definitely go into production with only a few minor changes. I took care of the exterior personally, for example, and no great changes were necessary'.
The model will go on sale in the UK from early 2006.
Text: Classic Driver
Photos: Alfa Romeo
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