Mama mia, Brera bellisimo! Alfa Romeo's all-new Brera coupe is stylish, sexy and pure Italian - and the good news is that this head-turner is now in South Africa!
Says famous car designer Giorgetto Giugiaro, whose successes include the original VW Golf, among many: "I designed the Brera because Alfa Romeo will never go out of fashion.
"When we premièred the car I referred to as a 'very sexy' Alfa Romeo sports model in 2002 in Geneva, I didn't know it would ever go beyond the prototype stage: all I knew was that the concept could definitely go into production with only a few minor changes.
"I took care of the exterior personally, for example, and no great changes were necessary."
He could not have designed anything more stunning.
The result is a beautiful, powerful and solid car with a bonus of mechanical and engineering excellence, and which at the same time is able to arouse great emotion and guarantee maximum driving satisfaction.
It also manages to merge the elegant, sporty line of an outstanding sporting car with the quality and comfort of a luxury saloon.
Although the sharply tapered front and rear make the model look very compact, the original styling is complemented by generous dimensions: it is 183cm wide, 441cm long and 137cm high with a wheelbase of 252cm.
At the heart?
The true heart and the true strength of every Alfa Romeo model is its engine. The Alfa Brera range offers two JTS direct injection petrol engines with Twin Phaser technology: a 191 kW 3.2 V6 JTS model and a 136 kW 2.2 JTS.
Both engines havehe direct injection JTS (Jet Thrust Stoichiometric) technology.
They are combined with new short-throw mechanical six-speed gearboxes whicxh enhance the driving pleasure..
3.2 V6 JTS engine
Driving the V6 is a dream and it makes you want to stay on the road forever. The new JTS engine is capable of a power delivery of 191 kW (8% more than the previous 3.2 V6); peak torque of 322 Nm at 4 500 r/min. The significant increase in torque at low speeds improves the smooth delivery, while maximum revs is at 6 200 r/min. Top speed is reached at 240 km/h and the car accelerates from 0 to 100 km/h in 6.8 seconds.
136 kW 2.2 JTS
The 2.2 JTS delivers 136 kW and peak torque of 230 Nm at 4 500 r/min, taking the car to a top speed of 222 km/h and accelerating from 0 to 100 km/h in 8.6 seconds.
Although styling is identical to the 3.2, there is a definite difference in power between the two when driving. While the drive is still enjoyable and the clutch is much softer on the smaller power unit, it just misses that little bit of "oomf".
The only visual differences to tell the two models apart would be the panoramic glass roof and the headlight washers which come standard on the 3.2 V6 models.
On this car driving satisfaction and active safety amount to real strengths.
The Brera gets high double wishbone front suspension and the rear is multilink. This produces a greater capacity to absorb road roughness, more precision in the steering response and great road holding.
It also has the same all-wheel drive system with three differentials as the Alfa 159 Q4, giving the highest levels of active safety and sportiness.
Being behind the wheel is comfort at its best.
The driver is surrounded by technologies that ensure the highest acoustic and climatic comfort resulting in comfortable ergonomics.
The circular analogue speedometer and rev counter are linked by a high resolution reconfigurable digital display, and perfect illumination guarantees clear, easy reading of all the instrumentation, particularly at night.
Even hand position and grip are perfect on the three-spoke steering wheel, especially when negotiating difficult manoeuvres.
Features include bi-xenon headlights with washers (standard on 3.2 only) a rain sensor, cruise control, dusk sensor and parking sensor.
A panoramic glass roof with sunblind comes standard on the 3.2 model.
Another element needing a mention is the fact that the rear seats can be folded down to extend the luggage compartment from 300 to a huge 610 litres of space.
There can't be a more classic Alra Romeo than this.
The rear window is reminiscent of the historical Giulietta Sprint, while the back end has the same genes as the latest Alfa Romeo models. The bonnet is reminiscent of the 'Fifties with a big shield grille set in the centre.
Sound to boast about
The Bose sound system is so impressive in the Brera that it deserves a mention on its own. It has a power output of 570 Watts, an acoustic system with six speakers, and a subwoofer with a 6-channel digital amplifier built into the boot space, which plays the lowest frequencies.
Equipment on the new model includes a number of significant technological devices that enhance life on board.
The Alfa Brera includes a sophisticated 'built-in protection system' that comprises the volumetric, anti-lift, anti-break-in, anti-theft Safe Lock device. It can mechanically disconnect the lock and the inside and outside handles of the doors, making it impossible to open them from inside, even if the window is broken.
Brera 3.2 V6 Q4 R485 000
Brera 2.2 JTS R395 000.