Introduction The MiTo in brief Styled as a sportier mini
Driving satisfaction, Alfa Romeo style Cutting-edge engines & gearboxes Safety at the peak of its segment
General in-car well-being Range & services (Italian market) MiTo & the language of the young
Mito: Images    

Cutting-edge engines and gearboxes

The true heart and the true strength of every Alfa Romeo model is its engine. And the Alfa MiTo is no exception: the new car’s attractive, personality-packed looks conceal a diverse range of outstanding high-tech power units that offer generous performance and are respectful of the environment. Not to mention the fact that Alfa Romeo power units may be distinguished by their unmistakable sound that emphasises the unique nature of the car while complying fully with type approval constraints and environmental aspects.

All the power units are produced by FPT – Fiat Powertrain Technologies, the Fiat Group sector that is responsible for all the activities necessary for innovation, research, design and production of engines and gearboxes for every type of application: From cars to industrial vehicles; boats to agricultural vehicles. With approximately 20,000 employees, 15 plants and 10 research centres in seven different countries, this sector is one of the most significant enterprises in the power unit field anywhere in the world. Within FPT – Fiat Powertrain Technologies, approximately 3000 highly specialized engineers are engaged in the development and engineering of innovative technologies. More than 40 patents filed each year confirm the quality and seriousness of this undertaking, making FPT – Fiat Powertrain Technologies a great centre of technological excellence and continual innovation.

Powerful, smooth and environmentally-friendly engines

Two petrol engines will be available at the time of launch (78 bhp 1.4 and 155 bhp 1.4 Turbopetrol) and one turbodiesel 120 bhp 1.6 JTDM. Each with different qualities, all utilised to the full due to pairing with 6 speed manual gearboxes that are individually remarkable for their generosity and lively temperament and also for their high performance and sophisticated technology. The specifications of each power unit are given in detail below.

155 bhp 1.4 Turbopetrol

The Alfa Romeo MiTo offers its customers a new 1.4 litre turbocharged Turbopetrol engine that is distinguished by its performance, alacrity of throttle response, low fuel consumption, simple construction, sturdiness and reliability.
The new 1.4 16v turbopetrol engine is offered with a maximum power of 155 bhp (114 kW) at 5500 rpm and a maximum torque of 206 Nm (the 155 bhp is achieved at just 200 rpm) but a mighty 230 Nm can be obtained at 3000 rpm by simply selecting the Dynamic driving mode on the Alfa D.N.A switch. Driving flexibility is therefore high, with reduced use of the gearbox for a satisfying, relaxed drive, though all you have to do to achieve a more beefy response is to press your foot on the throttle. This is aided 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.

All this sportiness also comes with very frugal fuel consumption. The engine is also very reliable, guaranteed by the hundreds of thousands of kilometres covered by the prototypes during the development stage, combined with thousands of hours on static and dynamic test rigs. The scheduled maintenance interval is 30,000 km, without any need for an intermediate service. The oil/water heat exchanger guarantees these results. The oil filter is environmentally friendly.

In detail, a computerised engine control system manages all functions by means of sophisticated mathematical algorithms. The throttle control is drive-by-wire without any mechanical connection so that the driver can obtain the desired response from the engine, i.e. smooth or sporty, always with the greatest energy efficiency. These outstanding results were made possible by the careful design and development of all engine components totalling over 120,000 hours of work. The most up-to-date design and computer-aided modelling methods were used to simulate the toughest turbocharger stress conditions. The main components were designed from the outset to withstand the ultra-high performance levels of an up-to-date turbocharged engine in terms of resistance to mechanical stress and also to ensure behaviour that is entertaining and safe at all times. Particular attention was paid to fluid dynamics and combustion in order to minimise power loss and reach high levels of performance without compromising fuel consumption.

120 bhp 1.6 JTDM

The Alfa Romeo MiTo is fitted with the 1.6 JTDM, 16 valve engine, a latest-generation turbodiesel engine that confirms Alfa Romeo’s technological excellence in this field since 1997, the year that saw the advent of the first diesel common rail in history on the Alfa 156. This sparkling 1.6 l engine available on the 120 bhp version ideally combines the winning attributes of a latest-generation common rail turbodiesel unit with the tax breaks and other advantages deriving from the downsizing design philosophy. This engine is therefore the ideal solution for those who seek an effective compromise between respect for the environment and low running costs without relinquishing power and flexibility for authentic driving satisfaction.

In detail, the 1.6 Multijet improves on performance, comfort, emissions – it is Euro 5 Ready – and running costs while also offering considerable benefits: for the same power output, the engine offers nearly 25% more torque (320 Nm at 1,750 rpm) and 8% less fuel consumption (measured over a Nedc cycle). All this with considerably improved driving satisfaction, due above all to respectable torque values at low speeds. These aims have been achieved through a comprehensive optimisation of combustion that exploits the potential of the engine's new injectors to the full.

The 1.6 JTDM offers exceptional torque delivery in absolute terms, which is all the more impressive when one considers the cylinder capacity: a torque of 320 Nm makes this engine a performance leader amongst medium capacity power units. If we then consider specific torque (i.e. divided by cylinder capacity) the 1.6 is the highest performing engine in the category of power outputs up to 200 bhp, with the sole exception of supersport power units. And more. If we take into account that the maximum torque is delivered at just 1750 rpm (280 Nm are already available at 1500 rpm), we are able to immediately appreciate the extent to which the 1.6 Multijet represents a revolution compared to present-day diesel engines.


No other engine, however recent, can offer such a high torque delivery at such a low rpm. All things considered, the new JTDM offers exhilarating driving satisfaction that is difficult to match. This achievement is also borne out by the acceleration values (from 0 to 100 km/h in just 9.9 seconds) and the top speed (198 km/h). Combining the new injection system with new-generation variable geometry turbo engines also completes an absolutely outstanding technological picture.

In the same way, the 120 bhp 1.6 incorporates the most advanced exhaust gas treatment technologies, namely a Close Coupled Diesel Particulate Filter and an integral EGR (Exhaust Gas Recirculation) system that improves control of temperature and gas flow, simultaneously guaranteeing lower emissions and low fuel consumption. This set of solutions ensures the power unit is Euro5-ready well ahead of the date on which the regulation enters into force: this is the best example of the great commitments made throughout the Fiat group to ensure environmentally-friendly mobility.

The 120 bhp 1.6 JTDM engines are combined with a six-speed manual gearbox that ensures lower rpm particularly at highway or motorway speeds, with the twofold advantage of less noise in the passenger compartment and a reduction in true fuel consumption.

78 bhp 1.4 aspirated engine

Alfa Romeo developed this engine specially in order to produce a car designed particularly for young people, i.e. with limited power capacity but still able to reflect all the qualities of handling and driving satisfaction that are expected of an Alfa. The aspirated 1.4 engine has a power output of 78 bhp (58 kW) at 6000 rpm and a maximum torque of 125 Nm at 4250 rpm. The weight/power ratio expressed by this particular engine took its inspiration from Italian laws introduced for those who have recently passed their driving test, that limit the specific power over tare ratio for drivers who have recently passed their driving test to 50 Kw/t. This law was originally intended to enter into force in July 2008, but this has now been postponed to January 2009.

Slick, reliable gearboxes

A range of reliable, sturdy and sophisticated gearboxes has been developed to match the engine range on offer for the Alfa Romeo MiTo: the new vehicle can be fitted with three variants: M32: manual, 6-speed for the 155 bhp 1.4 Turbopetrol and the 120 bhp 1.6 JTDM; and C514: 6-speed manual gearbox for the 78 bhp 1.4 engine.

All the gearboxes share a dual cable external mechanism that ensures slick manoeuvres and noiselessness without transmitting mechanical vibrations through the linkage. The details: the new-generation external linkage is technologically advanced due to the extensive use of high-performance technopolymers to guarantee the various qualities of strength, weight and self-lubricating capability. Bench testing under extreme weather conditions also guided the development of materials, couplings and processes to ensure product toughness and reliability. The new linkage was also designed to ensure system and performance characteristics of maximum comfort and manoeuvrability. To achieve greater comfort through maximum mechanical filtering action, a new distribution pattern was adopted for an inertia mass distribution that is strongly shifted toward the gearbox.

Among the engineering features worthy of highlighting, the gear casing and clutch casing have been optimised in terms of lightness and noise absorption though FEM (Finite Element Method) computing techniques. The first and second gears, i.e. those most commonly used by motorists, also come with triple cone synchronisers (double-cone on the C514) that require 40% lower engagement effort than a conventional single-cone type.

In detail, all the gear boxes fitted to the Alfa Romeo MiTo feature an internal gear control system on four selection planes with a central positioner. Lubrication is dynamic with oil flows channelled. The advantages include: lower wear and higher efficiency during torque transmission and low temperature manoeuvrability.

The quality and reliability of these components is also guaranteed by the great care taken at the assembly stage, when each component is pre-tested and electronic measurements are carried out on the parameters that define efficiency, flexibility and clearance.

6-speed gearbox (C514) for the 78 bhp 1.4 unit

Increased acoustic comfort, lower shift effort even when cold and greater gear engagement precision. These are the benefits offered to the motorist by the C514 gearbox (transverse configuration with two shafts in a cascade and differential) that underwent improvements to the following parts: gears, synchronisers, lubrication, inner gear linkage and clutch control.

When paired with the 78 bhp 1.4, the 6-speed device represents the latest upgrade to the gearbox in terms of transmissible torque (125 Nm). The use of higher quality materials for the gears, the use of an upgraded differential with oversized bevel gears and a bolted connection between box and ring gear make for the greatest reliability. The main qualities are excellent gearshift manoeuvrability, low shift noise and low weight.

6-speed gearbox (M32) for the 1.6 JTDM and the 1.4 Turbopetrol

Increased acoustic comfort, lower shift effort even when cold and greater gear engagement precision. These are the benefits offered to the motorist by the M32 gearbox (transverse configuration with two shafts in a cascade and differential) that has undergone improvements to the following parts: gears, synchronisers, lubrication, inner gear linkage and clutch control.

The unit is available in a 6-speed version and can withstand high torque values (320 Nm). This makes it the ideal choice for higher-performing engines: the 120 bhp 1.6 JTDM and the 155 bhp 1.4 Turbopetrol. It is also fitted with a gear linkage that features a selection travel limiter to safeguard more effectively against involuntary engagement of reverse and to increase fifth and sixth gear engagement precision.

Report & Photos: Fiat Group Automobiles