herald

Saturday 21 October 2017

you can believe your eyes - an italian supercar for the price of a n executive saloon

The motoring sceptics said it wouldn't happen - they were wrong.

To be fair, only for I was there to witness it with my own eyes I'd have probably questioned it too.

The claim?

An Italian supercar for the price of an executive saloon.

Never.

Yes, petrol heads and art lovers alike will rejoyce at the news that the breathtakingly spectacular Alfa Rome 4C WILL go on sale in Ireland. Yep, you read right - this mid-engined pocket rocket will hit Irish showrooms soon with a reasonable price tag of €69,900.

I say "reasonable" because this fiery redhead is a supercar for the mere mortal - with blistering performance and a drive unrivalled by anything else on the road today.

Designed and built at the Maserati plant in Modena, the twin-seat marvel really is a feat of engineering, tipping the scales at just under 900kgs.

The super-rigid chassis, made of carbon fibre, weighs just 65kg and bolted to that is a featherlight, all-aluminium 1750cc petrol engine.

What that means in real terms is a 0-100kph of just 4.5 seconds and a top whack of 259kph.

It also means that it's also a guilty pleasure for the eco-conscious - as the CO2 emissions are a miserly 157g/km while returning 41.5mpg (6.8l/100km). We were treated to a couple of laps on the Mondello track last week and the only word to describe the experience is epic.

Even though she's packing "just" 240bhp the connectivity between driver and machine is like nothing I've ever experienced before. I've never driven a car that was so precise.

I don't want to bore you too much with figures but a massive 80pc of the car's torque is there at just 1,800rpm. The good news is we've managed to blag a weekend in this magnificent machine in early August so the full low-down will follow then.

Elsewhere, Alfa have also revised their whole range starting with the uber sexy MiTo. Here just in time for the 142 plate, the little city car comes with higher spec, revised interiors and more advanced technologies including the Uconnect 5-inch touchscreen infotainment system (as standard).

Engine-wise, the MiTo will come in three turbo power plants, two petrol and one diesel, generating 105, 140 and 85 bhp respectively. The 900cc TwinAir petrol gets a powerboost with an extra 20bhp (now 105bhp) shaving 1.1 seconds off the 0-100kph while maintaining consumption of 4.1l/100km and CO2 of just 99g/km.

The Giulietta gets a refresh too. For starters the hot hatch gets a new grille, fog-light housings, new 16/17/18 inch alloys and a range of new colours including Luna Pearl, Cobalto Blue and Metallo Bronze.

Prices for the MiTo start at €20,900 while the Giulietta start at €22,500.

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