The true character of a car I always to be found in its engine. Well, we certainly found one in the latest MiTo Quadrifoglio Verde. True power - 170 hp of it, and true character, packed beautifully and indeed, also performing beautifully…
Hans Knol ten Bensel
An engineers’ as well as drivers’ delight…
The Alfa has amazed the world with its MultiAir engine. The throttle plane is here replaced with electronically-controlled electrohydraulic actuators to optimize airflow in each cylinder's combustion chamber. The result is a smooth and willing engine, smooth in the “normal” and “all weather”, but nothing less than brilliant in the “dynamic” mode.
The DNA selector adapts the character of the Alfa to your mood(s)...
The smoothness is indeed uncanny in the “normal” mode. The engine will pull sweetly from 1000 rpm in any gear, giving you the flexible, vibrationless and soft engine note which you need in busy city traffic. Let’s face it, you will not ALWAYS like to storm ahead with the rev counter near the redline… Well, this engine proves to be a very nice companion if you feel more philosophical or “zen” behind the wheel.
Fuel consumption is also outstanding when you are seeing things more quietly. Even in dense Brussels traffic, it was no trouble to reach figures around 6 litres/100 km.
But the engine comes really into its own in the Dynamic mode. With a beautiful four-cylinder throb the revs shoot up to red zone, catapulting the car from 0 to 100 in merely 7 seconds. At 124 hp/litre, this engine is also one of the world leaders in specific power. In fact, this is the highest value ever recorded for an Alfa.. and this really shows.
The mode selection also influences steering response and suspension. The dynamic suspension system on the MiTo QV, which actively and continuously controls the electronic shock absorbers, was developed by combining Alfa Romeo road testing with the latest engineering techniques from Magneti Marelli.
The suspension interacts with the three different control strategies of the AlfaDNAsystem. In "Normal", agility is combined with a higher level of comfort, whereas in "All Weather", the safety features are enhanced by continual interaction between the Vehicle Dynamic Control stability system, the steering and the suspension. Finally, in "Dynamic", theMiTobecomes a thoroughbred: it is no coincidence that the system was developed at the historic Balocco test track and round the corners of the Nurburgring.
As said, the Dynamic Suspension system is made up of four electronically controlled shock absorbers, but has also five accelerometric sensors, a control unit and as explained an interface with AlfaDNAfor the different settings, and is also connected with the other on-board electronic systems. To sum it up, driving the MiTo QV is a true delight.
A new gearbox…
The qualities of the Alfa Romeo MiTo Quadrifoglio Verde are further enhanced by the next-generation C635 gearbox.
Developed by Fiat Powertrain Technologies and manufactured at the Italian Verrone factory, this gearbox is the first result of a design philosophy aimed at improving driveability, consumption levels and production flexibility.
Using it, we certainly witnessed clean and swift changes with very short selection movements, uniform activation pressures, and no noise and no vibrations. The gear ratios were also very well chosen indeed, and very well adapted to the engine characteristics.
A (very) pleasing thoroughbred…
External features are the 17" satin titanium-finished wheels (based on the Alfa Romeo 8C Competizione supercar).
The same Titanium colour is used for the headlight frames and the wing mirrors, while the dark finish of the headlight parabolas is achieved by a brand new metal sublimation technology.
In the interior, the all-black “carbon” finish add to a distinctive sporting note, which we liked very much.
Our conclusion? If you are looking for beauty, personality and character in this segment, with a touch of luxury and style,
this MiTo Quadrifoglio Verde is certainly a car to take (very) seriously, last but not least because the car has a very solid feel about it, and clearly shows that Alfa Romeo has come very well to grips with reliability.
Hans Knol ten Bensel