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    

Styled as a sportier mini

Alfa Romeos are universally acknowledged to be good-looking, sporty cars that combine a glittering racing pedigree with the cream of contemporary engineering. Cars that enhance everyday driving experiences with a true racing feel and authentic driving satisfaction. And the Alfa Romeo MiTo embodies these qualities to the extent that it may be defined the sportiest mini. And more. The Alfa Romeo MiTo forcefully expresses all the creative vitality of the brand, a special way of appreciating motor cars that is very far from thinking of them as simply useful means of transport. Alfa Romeos have always been designed for people with expectations that go beyond the strictly necessary into the realm of emotions: aesthetic taste, a passion for sophisticated engineering, the sheer pleasure of sitting behind the wheel and an expression of one’s own personality.

Exteriors designed for dynamism and Italian appeal

The new model, designed by the Alfa Romeo style centre in Arese, is the first car to be built since the 8C Competizione – Alfa Romeo’s icon of style and technology, from which it borrows certain characteristic traits: The particular shape of the side windows described by the flush windows, the three-lobed motif that distinguishes the front bumper, the shape of the headlights and the LED tail-lights. The headlight and tail-light surrounds represent a distinctive personalised feature: A frame featuring different forms of material processing and colours to create an ultra-stylish eye-liner effect that underscores the cars style and aggression.

Available with 3 doors, the Alfa Romeo MiTo is remarkable for its compact size, which sums up the determination of a car designed to guarantee maximum driving efficiency (it is 4.06 metres long, 1.44 m high and 1.72 metres wide). These measurements find stylistic expression in the highly sculpted and skilfully moulded surfaces. In detail, the body is given extra dynamism by the horizontal furrow cut into the side above the front wheelarch. The big wheels and powerful musculature of the rear wings emphasise the model’s personality and strength without detracting from the lines that flow smoothly, almost as though to underscore the formal good looks of the individual exterior details: the drop-shaped headlight embedded, gem-like, in the front wing and the led tail-lights that are a blend of technology and rationalism.

The Alfa Romeo MiTo also offers other distinctive traits that define its strong personality and make it immediately recognisable in accordance with the specific canons of the brand. Beginning with a strong, spare front end dominated by the unmistakable Alfa family feeling, represented by a distinctive trefoil with the shield in the centre. The enter car appears to grow from this point to combine a slight edge of styling aggression with outstanding elegance of form.

The equally distinctive profile gives the model the appearance of an agile, solid and protective car. This is due above all to a pronounced shelf on the side that makes the car look slender and dynamic. Taut lines that meet at the rear and the small area of glass (compared to the large extent of metal at the side) accentuate the wedge-shaped configuration and ensure an out-and-out sporty appearance.

The rear end also has a lot to say stylistically. The rear of the Alfa Romeo MiTo features a small rearscreen supported by powerful shoulders that frame the round, racing-style lights. The bumper houses a large extractor, specific to each version, which is highly three-dimensional and located just under a lip in the bodywork that further enhances the car's great personality.

The solutions introduced on the Alfa Romeo MiTo to achieve the highest levels of aerodynamic efficiency are not limited to the shape. Air wraps around the car and follows its natural course, unhindered by corners and unevenness. All the pillar and glass surfaces and profiles together with the door mirror shape and position have been optimised by mathematical modelling and also by wind tunnel tests and tests on actual models. The final outcome is a Cd of 0.29 that confirms the sporting qualities of the compact Alfa Romeo.

The Alfa Romeo style centre also developed new colours to emphasise the shape of the Alfa Romeo MiTo that match the car’s sinuous shape while also suggesting modernity and a hint of technology. In particular, 10 body shades are available, of which 5 metallic, that reflect every facet of the sporting soul of the new Alfa Romeo (no fewer than 6 colours have been introduced for the first time on the Alfa Romeo MiTo). The all-important red shade comes in two versions: the traditional non-metallic Alfa Red and the lighter Giulietta red, a reminder of Alfa Romeo's glorious past, conferring a young and sporty character on this model. The white has also been reformulated and is available in two versions: a warmer non-metallic and an even more gorgeous pearlised version. Grey, the ultimate hi-tech colour, is available in two forms: a very sporty coarse-grained, micalised grey and a paler, more shiny grey.

Black comes in a conventional non-metallic version as well as a new shade, created using a micalised red undercoat that gleams through the black in the sunlight. The Blue colour palette is represented by a very stylish pale pearlised blue. And lastly a special new colour for the new compact Alfa: an intense, warm, deep yellow.

Customers who wish to customise their car still further can order a black painted roof or, for the first time on an Alfa Romeo, choose between 14 different finishes for the headlight and tail-light frames (shiny or satinised chrome, opaque black and titanium grey, plus the 10 body shades). Similarly, the door mirror caps can also be ordered as an option in shiny or satinised chrome, opaque black and titanium grey.

The light clusters on the Alfa Romeo MiTo are also worthy of a separate mention as they are veritable gems of design and engineering. The front headlights are available in two versions: the first with halogen bulbs, the second with xenon bulbs (optional) that offer an improved light emission quality and excellent performance in all weathers. In a gas discharge bulb, the usual internal filament is replaced by two electrodes spaced a few millimetres apart. These generate a voltaic discharge in an environment saturated with low-pressure xenon gas. These devices offer three times more brightness and duration than normal headlights with a halogen bulb.

The front headlights also offer a daytime light function (Daytime Running Lights) that automatically turn on the special low energy bulbs to reduce fuel consumption and CO2 emissions when the engine is started up: It should be emphasized that this function complies with the specific European regulation that is due to come into force in 2012.

The tail-lights on the Alfa Romeo MiTo also display careful styling and state-of-the-art technology. The tail-light clusters, produced by Magneti Marelli Automotive Lighting, are circular in shape to create a sporty impression that is also reminiscent of Alfa Romeo tradition. The lights are fitted with LED bulbs that offer greater brightness than conventional bulbs and come on faster when the car brakes. This ensures greater safety and distinctive good looks.


For the interiors, the keynote is sportsmanship and style

Like the exterior shape, the interior of the Alfa Romeo MiTo is as sporty and stylish as Alfa Romeos get. The interiors, created by the Alfa Romeo Style Centre, take driving position as their starting point and make the driver the centre of attention: excellent distance ratio between pedal, seat, steering wheel and gearlever allow a perception of full control to ensure a typically Alfa Romeo standard of driving satisfaction. The central console also encloses the controls of the climate control system, radio, satellite navigation system, gear lever and Alfa D.N.A. system. The circular analogue speedometer and rev counter on the dashboard are also linked by a high resolution reconfigurable digital display, and perfect lighting (red or white, according to the version) guarantees clear, easy reading of all the instrumentation, particularly at night. And finally, hand position and grip are perfect on the three-spoke steering wheel, even when negotiating difficult manoeuvres.

The interiors of the new model also represent a perfect balance between style and sportiness, a dialectic that the Alfa Romeo translates into a sophisticated combination of colours, top-quality fabrics and superb materials. As is borne out, for example, by finishes and detailing in ‘glossy titanium’: this titanium chrome paint adds greater depth and gloss to a part. As an option, it is also possible to choose superb quality upholstery in Poltrona Frau® (available in Black, Red and Natural leather), a touch of exclusivity that combines the Alfa Romeo brand with one of the most famous Italian designer labels in the world: the final result is a life-enhancing environment with a very hand-crafted look.

The range is made up of Progression and Distinctive specifications (Sport and Premium packs are also available), both with a special natural-looking interior trim. The dashboard breaks down into two parts, a rigid case and a cover that can be customised with different trims ensure sophisticated opulence and a very soft tactile sensation.

In detail, the Progression specification offers a ‘Sprint’ dashboard with two interior looks: black, more classic and reassuring, and red for a more spirited look. The cover is very distinctive in both cases: it features a special stylish, classic and natural form of embossing. The seat centre fabric is made more luxurious by the inclusion of a shiny rubberised thread that makes the entire seat look brighter.

The Distinctive specification comes with a ‘Competizione’ dashboard (whose very distinctive cover comes with a hi-tech embossing that looks like woven carbon fibre, produced using an exclusive process developed by Alfa Romeo) and three interiors with different trims and colours. The black interior is understated and sporty, with a gleam of brightness that gives extra elegance. It is easy to identify the dual soul of the red interior: sporty due to the red component and also elegant due to the black pigment. Lastly, in the blue interior, the blue fibres are woven with the opaque to create the type of shimmering, sporty yet elegant space we have come to expect from an Alfa Romeo.

The seats feature a juxtaposition of materials that can be seen and felt upon touch. The outer skins are smooth and silky with a clean, opaque-coloured look. The central part is always trimmed with the most opulent materials: carbon fibre has been printed onto the microfibre to create an outstanding contrast of shiny/opaque. The feel is unique, sporty due to the underlying microfibre and silky due to the shiny fibre on the surface.

Moving on to the Sport Pack that is particularly notable for its super sporty seat design. The middle features a 3D cloth that adds a much more youthful and dynamic slant to the leather/cloth weave mix on the seat of the 8C Competizione. The two colours used - black and bordeaux - use the interplay between glossy and opaque to add more shimmer and opulence to the seat. At the sides, again in super-matte black, upholstered inserts in a smooth fabric contrast with the opulence of the seat. The entire effect is completed by a fabric with a deliberately material feel to give a unique wrap-around effect and offset the clean finish of the insert. The Mito also features the essential Alfa Romeo logo, repositioned on the inner part of the seat as on the 8C Competizione. The logo is embroidered with a contrasting thread. Lastly, the ‘Pelle Frau®’ specification is special due to the great attention lavished on the seat upholstered with ‘Pelle Frau® ‘leather: the leather is smooth on the outer parts, with an embroidered Alfa logo on the inner part. Microperforations on the seat centre add movement to the design and ensure breathability.

The central part also features the classic upright cylindrical pattern of padding. The outside parts have also been made very distinctive with the distinctive piping (so typical of most Alfa Romeo seats), this time with a double row of rivets. This feature is also highlighted against black leather due to the contrasting colour.

It should be emphasised that the front and rear seats on the Alfa Romeo MiTo have been designed to guarantee the best comfort for each passenger percentile. This was possible by working in close contact with the best Italian specialists in ergonomics and sports medicine. To promote comfort and above all the absorption of vibrations, the front seats come with a new system for holding up the lumbar area that promotes back support. Not to mention the fact that the front seat padding can adapt to the body's shape and offer an antisubmarining configuration that prevents the body sliding forward beneath the seat belt in the event of a violent head-on impact.

The following adjustments are possible on the front seats: ride; reach (with a total travel of no less than 240 mm); backrest tilt (by means of a handle that allows continuous adjustment) – and lumbar (standard on the driver’s seat and optional on the passenger seat). Heated front seats are also available as an option. The front seats are also equipped with height adjustment and a S.A.H.R. (Self Aligning Head Restraint) system that moves the head restraint closer to the neck of seat occupants to lessen the effect of whiplash in the event of impact.

The rear seats are also provided with the backrest fixed or split 40/60 according to the version. This seat too offers an antisubmarining structure and features padding of differential stiffness according to the seat area occupied (this parameter measures the ability of the padding to yield beneath the body’s weight). The rear seats are fitted with Isofix attachments for child seats while the head restraints are sliding saddle type. The Alfa Romeo MiTo is also type-approved as standard for two people in the rear (a third seat, available as an option, comes with the 40/60 configuration) to enhance the sporty qualities of the high-containment seats.

Last but not least, the car's compact size does not detract in any way from the overall roominess that is at the top of its category as evidenced, for example, by the outstanding amount of room available for rear passengers. The Alfa Romeo MiTo also offers a number of convenient compartments of various sizes to accommodate small and medium-sized items. The luggage compartment on the new Alfa Romeo is also impressive for its regular shape and 270 litres of capacity.

Report & Photos: Fiat Group Automobiles