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Road Test: Alfa Romeo Brera


Forum Addict
Sep 7, 2004
Bradford, UK
"Wow!" cried the world at the 2002 Geneva motor show. "Alfa Romeo must make this car." That car was Giugiaro's Brera concept, a sharp-edged, point-nosed coup? with gullwing doors and a dramatic six-light front end. Giorgetto Giugiaro was adamant that the Brera was no more than a show car, but the idea did fit in well with Alfa's need to replace the GTV and Spider.

Alfa Romeo clearly liked the new nose treatment, because the Alfa 156's late-life facelift featured a near-copy of it. And now we've seen how the new generation of Alfa Romeos, spearheaded by the 159 which has just replaced the 156, is adopting the Brera look from its sharp visage to its broad, crisply-defined rear shoulders.

So the Brera had to happen as a production car. Giuigiaro's original idea has been altered a little in its proportions, and has lost the gullwing doors, but the glass roof remains, and the whole look is still faithful to the concept. It has spawned a Spider version, too, already seen on the motor show circuit and scheduled for UK sale in the summer of 2006.

The Brera is, of course, based on the 159, with which it shares 55 per cent of its parts. Its wheelbase is 175mm shorter at 2525mm, and the cars are pretty much the same from nose to dashboard, but the Brera's shorter chassis should make it more agile and its suspension settings have been altered to suit. The glass roof, which doesn't open, is standard for UK cars but a lower-cost, steel-roofed version may arrive later.

Engines are as for the upper-range 159s. Smallest, and likely to be the most popular, is a 185bhp, 2.2-litre, all-aluminium four-cylinder unit with direct injection and Twin Phaser camshafts - that is, continuously-variable valve timing for both inlet and exhaust cams. It's derived from a GM design, the Fiat Auto group and GM still collaborating technically on selected projects. The grander petrol engine, fitted with Twin Phasers and derived from a GM engine (but this time with Alfa's own direct-injection heads) is the 3.2-litre, 260bhp V6. It's matched to a Q4 four-wheel drive system whose nominal front/rear torque split is rear-biased at 43/57, but alters between 72/28 and 22/78 as required. The range will be completed by Fiat/Alfa's usual 2.4-litre, five-cylinder turbodiesel, with a healthy 200bhp and huge torque (295lb ft).

A Selespeed sequential-shift transmission is offered on the 2.2, while the others will have a fully-automatic option. Manual six-speeders are standard fare. Intriguingly, although the Brera was designed by Giugiaro - it's named after a grand and artistic suburb of Milan, Alfa's spiritual home city - the new car was production-engineered by rival design house Pininfarina, which builds the car in its Turin factory.

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:love: LOVE THOSE WHEELS, love the colour choice (red or black), love the glass roof and love those eyes!

4Car as usual gave it a 4-star rating which is what they seem to give everything they test :roll: But i'm surprised they said it was good to drive and had good ride quality. Those are usually qualities that lack in an Alfa so its good that the Brera is fixed up.
How I wish I lived in Europe AND had money to buy one of those... :cry:
This had better come to Oz. No doubt it's stunning looks will cause many an accident.

Drivers of all ages, this is your fantasy!
Everybody is saying that Alfa will be back in 2007.

Pfff . . . those same people said that TVR was going to be back in 2003.
And they even said TVR was going to build a North America plant in Mexico!
bartboy9891 said:
They are going to do it, I heard a few months ago that Alfa has a plan marketing their cars in North America, I hope this happens very soon.
Are they gonna have the same engine and everything? i heard some rumors that if they partnered with GM, it would have a GM V6. which isnt reallly all that exciting.
They already partnered and split up with GM, and all they shared was the block; the heads are all in-house, so they still remain sweet.
o ok. as long as it sounds like an alfa is supposed to.
Well they maybe ferrari developed V8's like the ones that Maser's had. i doubt you'll be seeing a 4.3L Ferrari V8 in it ;)