26.01.2005 As the new Alfa Romeo Brera beGins the countdown to its 'World Premiere' at the Geneva Salon, in a month's time, the first undisguised photos of the new sportscar emerge

As the new Alfa Romeo Brera begins the final countdown to its 'World Premiere' at the Geneva Salon on 1st March, in little over a month's time, and the release of 'official' studio photos scheduled for mid next week, the first undisguised spy images of this eagerly anticipated new sportscar have emerged.

Italian newspaper Il Corriere della Sera has published a photograph of a production-ready Alfa Romeo Brera caught within the confines of the marque's development complex at Arese, which offers the best look yet at its this new contender's sleek, Giugiaro-penned lines.

Immediately obvious, is just how closely Giorgetto Giugiaro has adhered to the styling of the original 2+2 seat layout Brera concept car, which he first presented three years ago in Geneva.

The production Brera dispenses with the 'scissor' doors of the concept, along with its Maserati-sourced architecture and mechanicals components. Launched back then to widespread acclaim, the Brera concept's carefully and beautifully presented ideals can, without doubt, be regarded as having had a part to play in the recent rebirth of the sportscar brand.

At around the same time Alfa Romeo entrusted Giorgetto Giugiaro with restyling the now-legendary Alfa 156, and the master designer took the new front end 'look' of the Brera, and grafted it very successfully onto the top-selling saloon car. Thus the Brera's styling influences can already said to have become the underlying theme of the current Alfa 'family' appearance.

The Brera, to be built at Grugliasco, and named after one of Milan's most famous art academies, is based on a slightly shortened floorpan and mechanicals, drawn from the forthcoming Alfa Romeo 'Project 939' saloon (which in turn will replace the Alfa 156). The Brera will thus feature all of the new cars advanced technology and its clever innovation under the skin, while visibly, details such as the all-new door handles and high-quality steering column switchgear, will be shared.


This recently 'leaked' CAD rendering shows clearly the headlamp layout of the new Alfa Romeo Brera

Italian newspaper Il Corriere della Sera has published a photograph of a production-ready Alfa Romeo Brera within the the marque's development complex at Arese

Alfa Romeo have spent a lot of time and effort to get their new medium-size saloon, which is commonly referred to as the 'Alfa 157', exactly right. With double wishbone suspension at the front and a multilink arrangement at the rear, the highly regarded new 'Premium' floorpan will give the Alfa 157 the dynamics and ability to match the class-leading prestige German brands: Mercedes-Benz, Audi and BMW. Originally also scheduled to make a Geneva debut, new Alfa boss Karl-Heinz Kalbfell recently ditched this in favour of a Pan-European dealer launch in mid-May, thus allowing attention to focus solely on the Brera at the upcoming Swiss Show, while at the same time allowing him to have some final influence on this strategic new model. However, some consideration is being now given to actually 'previewing' the new Alfa '157' in Geneva as Alfa try to get their new models onto the market as fast as possible.

The four metre long Bera, will use the same underpinnings as Project 939, as it aims to match the success of the last-generation GTV and Spider, when it hits the showrooms on 15th September. The new Spider version, to be built alongside the coupe at Grugliasco, will arrive two months later. Emulating its predeccesors will be no mean feat to achieve, as these last two models in coupe and convertible format, are regarded as modern day Alfa Romeo 'icons'.

Launch engines for the Brera in Geneva will be the 230km/h 185bhp 2.2 JTS petrol, and the highly regarded and popular 240 km/h 2.4 JTD diesel unit with 200bhp. They will be quickly followed by a pair of new JTS V6 powered versions, a 250km/h 250bhp 3.0-litre and a 260km/h 280bhp 3.2-litre, while transmissions will include six-speed manual and uprated Selespeed options.

by Edd Ellison

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