Alfa Romeo Brera | evo Car Reviews | Car Reviews | evo

18 Jan 2015 | Author: | Comments Off on Alfa Romeo Brera | evo Car Reviews | Car Reviews | evo
Alfa Romeo Brera

It’s another Alfa only this time it may be for real

November 2005

Is or is this not, a serious car? God knows it’s Alfa Romeo had something to hold its head high in the pantheon, no excuses, no half-measures. 250bhp through the front has been all very well, but it ideal when we’re about truly credible machines.

Happily, lurking in the RD ready for the company’s new ‘premium’ has been a fine four-wheel-drive And now the cars are emerging that use of the new ‘Q4′ transmission: first the 159 and now the Alfa the world has wanted it appeared as an unofficial concept on Design’s 2002 Geneva stand. Meet the Brera.

As the Brera was a dramatic gullwing named after a posh of Milan, Alfa’s home Ital Design boss Giugiaro hadn’t intended it for but Alfa Romeo was looking to the GTV and Spider, adopted the Brera and gave it to Pininfarina to engineer a production reality.

Pininfarina now the Brera, and will make the Spider by the summer, in its Turin The gullwing doors have replaced by regular frameless but otherwise the concept – roof with electric included – has stayed as as Audi’s TT did in the reality transformation.

You’ve seen the Brera’s before. The late-life facelift for the 156 such a front, and the just-launched 159 is the bumper and valance apart, as the up to and including the dashboard. The platform is the too, apart from a shortened from 2700mm to and three of the engines are taken the 159 range.

They are a new 2.2-litre, petrol with variable Phaser’ inlet and exhaust plus direct injection, a 260bhp V6 with the same (both are based on aluminium, blocks), and the existing five-cylinder, turbodiesel currently giving All drive through six-speed

Cut now to Fiat/Alfa Romeo’s test at Balocco, midway between and Milan. I’m in the Brera Q4 V6, the car on broad, crisp-edged shoulders performance-car credibility rests. The track contains dozens of of road: fast straights, bends, tight corners, radii, bumps, cambers, broken edges, the lot.

Psycho-acoustics is a big part of modern design. If a new car sounds enticing, not because it just happened way through some petrol-fuelled osmosis, like it used to. It have been engineered, clinicked, deconstructed, reconstructed.

It that, despite rampant Alfa’s new V6 sounds as good as an V6 should; deep and burbly at low forte con brio at high

But, unlike its ancestors, engine has meaningful low-end even if the peak torque of ft doesn’t arrive until And that’s just as well, this Brera is one heavy It weighs 1630kg, so its outright isn’t ballistic, merely quick.

Standstill to 62mph 6.8sec, thrust finally at 149mph.

The Q4 system clearly weight, but it’s set up to make the feel almost rear-wheel-drive-ish of the time. The nominal front/rear split is 43/57, but it can alter 72/28 and 22/78 as required. a big spread, controlled by a Torsen-C diff and the usual bevy of steering and yaw sensors.

There’s a traction-control system you can turn off, and a stability (called VDC) which you although turning off the traction the VDC to allow more drift.

OK, time. We want this not to as turbulent as the 156 GTA, not as nose-heavy as the 147 Maybe a taste of Impreza WRX be good. On the first right-left after the straight it points flicks directions tidily, its power down.

It’s grippy and positive on the next left-hander.

Now a tight left, by more tight left/right In one 180degree right-hander, nose-heavy does win through; I have to down to rein in the understeer late braking and kicking the out doesn’t give enough weight transfer across the to let me keep the power on. Yes, you can the Brera drift on a shorter and you do get a frisson of rear-driveness as you power the next straight, but it’s a state.

Alfa’s test drivers say you can it power sideways if you really it, but it’s not natural. Traction and however, are not an issue. And there been a really powerful you can say that about for a very time.

Alfa Romeo Brera

This Brera cost about ΂£30,000 it arrives in early April. The JTD comes later, but the likely seller, the 2.2 JTS, will in UK showrooms along with the V6. front-wheel drive, of course, and a useful 160kg (or two people) than the V6.

The residual mass is quite a lot for 185bhp, though, and are rival coupes around the ΂£25K selling price considerably more power Nissan 350Z, for example).

The is that the new Alfa platform, its high-upper-wishbone front suspension and rear, has no trouble at all in getting 185bhp to the front wheels. unlike the 156-derived range of Alfas, including the GT which in the range for the time being, it to match taut handling and a feel with a compliant, ride free of shudders and A very stiff bodyshell here.

Out on the open road in the 2.2, up some Alpine foothills of Balocco, I’m going gently than in the 3.2, frustratingly wasn’t allowed out of the track’s gates. Now I can discover the steering is both quicker and than a 159’s, thanks to the wheelbase and driver-friendlier valving, but a disappointing rubberiness around the

It filters out too much subtle feel, but at least the steering suffer from the friction in too many modern systems. And the I go, and the twistier the road, the better the gets as other inputs in the gaps.

It points keenly, the V6, and as you accelerate through a fast you can feel the outside rear loading. That’s usually a of a throttle-adjustable balance, and so it proves. Brera is fluid, agile and attributes that make up for its of ultimate pace.

The engine especially strong at low revs, forcing much use of the six-speed and an inconsistent throttle response for jerky progress at first. It make a convincing Alfa four-pot sound, though, so you can it a lot.

Many people will buy a for its looks and kudos, anyway, and won’t be disappointed. Its low, nose looks faintly its tail is dominated by eight units set in a chrome-red sea beneath two lenses, and the vee-shape of the rear base points directly to the badge. It forms the tailgate pull it to reveal a decent space, made bigger by rear seats which are big enough for pre-teens at best.

occupants, meanwhile, luxuriate in leather chairs surrounded by surfaces and a slab of real on the hefty, driver-angled (and centre console. You sit lower in a 159, and the driving position suit almost anyone. For the Brera 2.2 will be coupe

You should try a V6, though. It’s when faith is restored.

Alfa Romeo Brera
Alfa Romeo Brera
Alfa Romeo Brera
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