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New models - Alfa Romeo - MiTo

More MiTo for your money

Blink and you'll miss it: MiTo's temporary base model will be replaced early next year.

Entry-level Alfa now packs 114kW for under $30K, twin-clutch auto confirmed for 2011

Alfa Romeo logo26 Jul 2010

ALFA ROMEO has dropped its entry-level 88kW MiTo engine in Australia, where a new 114kW variant now opens the range at $29,990 plus on-road costs - $1500 less than the previous base model.

The new specification is similar to that of the outgoing Sport variant (previously $37,490), but excludes extras like dual-zone climate-control, parking sensors and a rear spoiler, which are now the preserve of the recently-launched $34,990 MiTo Quadrifoglio Verde (QV) hot hatch.

As GoAuto reported a week ago, the $34,990 launch price of the QV temporarily caused an anomaly in MiTo pricing as it undercut the price of the former Sport flagship by $2500.

Australian importer Ateco Automotive has confirmed that the discount – which sees the MiTo undercut Mini’s entry-level 88kW/160Nm Cooper hatch (from $31,100) - comes as Alfa runs out the 114kW engine in Europe to make way for new engines.

Ateco remains tight-lipped about exactly what power plants will be phased in to replace it, but confirms that from early 2011 the MiTo will be available with a TCT (twin-clutch transmission) automatic gearbox.

This should bring with it a boost to sales as Australian buyers have lamented the lack of a self-shifter since the MiTo’s release a year ago.

The only European MiTos that currently get the TCT gearbox are powered by a 99kW/230Nm MultiAir petrol engine with average fuel consumption of 5.6L/100km and a CO2 output of 129g/km, so expect this driveline to make it to Australia.

26 center imageThe two-model Australian MiTo range is much simplified compared to Europe, where buyers have a choice of two petrol and two diesel engines across three trim levels, plus entry-level “Junior” and hot QV variants bookending the range with their own unique specification and engines.

The 114kW turbocharged 1.4 engine fitted to the new Australian base model is no longer available in Europe. It produces 230Nm of torque at 3000rpm with the DNA controller set to Dynamic mode and 201Nm at 5000rpm when in Normal or All Weather modes.

That power and torque is transmitted to 17-inch alloys via a six-speed manual gearbox. Overall fuel consumption is 6.5L/100km while emitting 153g/km of CO2, with 0-100km/h dispatched in eight seconds on the way to a top speed of 215km/h.

The QV’s newer, 125kW MultiAir engine manages to squeeze slightly more performance (7.5 seconds, 219km/h) out of less fuel (6.0L/100km) while producing 14 fewer grams of CO2 per kilometre.

Alfa’s announcement of the QV’s Australian launch emphasised the inclusion of its dynamic suspension technology but since then, the company has quietly moved it to the options list, where it costs $1990 extra.

Other options available for both MiTo variants include metallic paint ($790), leather interior ($2500) and a glass sunroof ($1950).

According to VFACTS, Alfa Romeo ranks third in the premium (over $25,000) light-car sales segment, in which it holds a 17.6 per cent share with 140 MiTos sold so far this year.

In the absence of next year’s all-new A1 from Audi and the virtually non-existent Punto from sister brand Fiat, the cheaper 500 holds a 21.5 per cent share, with 171 cute runabouts having found homes, while Peugeot’s ever-popular 207 owns almost half the market at 48.2 per cent, with 384 sold.

2010 Alfa Romeo MiTo pricing:
MiTo $29,990
MiTo QV $34,990

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