A guide to Alfa Romeo cars

Alfa Romeo is stylish, emotive brand that encompasses Italian flair and an exciting ride. Whether you’re looking for a frugal city car or sporty roadster, Alfa has a range of cars to fit any need.

Alfa is celebrating its centenary year in 2010 and can look back on 100 years of iconic models including the original Giulia and 8C Competizione models.

In recent years the manufacturer has left behind worries about reliability with a range of quality models, including the supermini-size MiTo, which was given a top five-star rating in the Euro NCAP safety tests.

While the likes of the Spider roadster and Brera coupe are widely considered the best-looking models in their class, Alfa cars are increasingly becoming greener. The ground-breaking MultiAir technology has drastically reduced emissions on the MiTo and future models such as the Giulietta and Giulia.

Alfa celebrates its centenary in 2010 after 100 years of producing some of the most iconic cars in memory. As the British TV show Top Gear says, you’re not a petrolhead unless you’ve owned an Alfa.

Below we round up the current Alfa line-up and a couple of models that will be available soon.

Spider

The Alfa Spider is well known for distinctive, stylish looks. The very definition of a classic Italian drop-top, the Spider comes from a long line of iconic Alfa cabriolets.

The two-seat Spider is based on the same platform as the Brera coupe and boasts a folding hard-top – a departure from the usual fabric roof used by many of its rivals.

A range-topping V6 engine, Alfa’s most powerful when it was introduced in 2003, is available to give the stunning drop-top an added edge, and a top speed of 155mph is an impressive return.

From new, prices start at £25,995 for the 2.2 and rise to £32,700 for the V6, complete with QTRONIC automatic transmission and permanent four-wheel drive.

GT Coupe

The GT Coupe follows on from the old 156 saloon, and delivers style and value for money – it is cheaper than many supposedly more illustrious rivals.

It’s not surprising, given it was designed by Italian design house Guigiaro. The two-seat grand tourer is the first GT since iconic models from the 70’s and 80’s.

If you’re looking for a good looking, practical alternative to traditional premium coupes, the Alfa GT delivers in style.

159

Introduced in 2005 and sketched by Italian design house Giugiaro, the 159 is a sporty saloon replacement for the 156, and has improved on its predecessor in every way.

The Alfa 159 is built on a brand new platform, and is one of the toughest cars around, with a range of safety equipment available.

It is popular with business and commercial buyers as a compact executive car and matches luxury with a sporty design. It is spacious, well-equipped and the range of cleaner engines make it relatively cheap to run.

In the UK there are three levels of trim (Turismo, Lusso and Turismo Internazionale) available. The Alfa 159 costs between £19,995 and £28,195.

Brera

The Brera coupe was a triumph for Alfa when it was revived in 2005. The stunning looks come courtesy of the Giugario design house in Italy and are matched to a highly polished driving experience.

The car won the 2005 Design Award in Autocar magazine’s Annual Awards, the Alfa Romeo being described as ‘an imposing coupe with rare grace.’

One of the best-looking coupes on the market, the Brera is suitably stylish inside and engines range from frugal diesels to the powerful Alfa V6.

A special edition Brera S has also been produced in a collaboration with motorsport team Prodrive, offering extra performance and Alfa supercar-inspired alloy wheels.

The Brera is ideal for somebody who wants the Alfa experience in a beautiful package without the premium price.

MiTo

If a coupe is too large for your city-going needs, the new Alfa MiTo brings Alfa Romeo style to the supermini sector.

The Alfa Romeo MiTo is the first new Alfa Romeo to be built since the 8C Competizione and borrows the distinctive headlights and frameless side windows from the sports car.

The three-door hatchback boasts a range of turbocharged petrol and diesel engines. In 2010, the MiTo MultiAir range was introduced, signalling a leap forward in green engine design.

The MiTo benefits from a new three mode DNA system that acts on the engine, brakes, steering, suspension and gearbox, offering the choice between three driving modes: dynamic, normal and all weather.

Coming soon

Alfa’s future is looking good. The successful launch of the MiTo and the ongoing popularity of the likes of the Brera, 159 and Spider have boosted the Italian brand. The Fiat Group, owners of Alfa, has also revealed a number of new models to be released over the next few years.

The Giuliutta arrives in the UK in 2010 as an exciting replacement for the 147. Like the MiTo, the new Alfa hot hatch takes styling cues from the stunning 8C Competitzione sports car.

The sporty five-door comes generously equipped compared to rivals and is available in Turismo, Lusso and Veloce trim levels – as well as the top-specification Cloverleaf version.

The Giulietta boasts the same DNA adjustable dynamics driving system as the MiTo and will be cheaper than key rivals in the hot-hatch market. It remains one of the most exciting models to come out of Italy for years.

Alfa will also revive the famous Giulia name in 2012, but will not be using the rear-wheel drive configuration from previous versions. Instead front-wheel and all-wheel drive options will be offered.

The Giulia will be the second Alfa model to use the Giulietta platform and will be offered in saloon and estate versions.