2009 Alfa Romeo MiTo
After many rumors, Alfa Romeo today made official the 2009 Mi.To. First believed to be called Junior, and then Furiosa, the small hatchback get the name Mi.To. The Alfa Mi.To will be introduced to the international press during June and will then be gradually introduced from July in all the major markets.
The name Mi.To has great evocative resonance for Alfa Romeo, since it was chosen as a sign of a deep-seated link between the past and future of the brand: between Milan, the city of design that brought the car’s style into being, and Turin, which will be responsible for its industrial production. A decision that highlights the brand’s strong desire to consolidate its Milanese roots.
The greatest thought has also gone into defining the dimensions, which add up to a compact and dynamic shape: the Mi.To is 4.06 metres long, 1.44 metres high and 1.72 metres wide.
Great performances are guaranteed by a range of 4 engines, all Turbo (petrol and diesel), that currently range from 90 hp up to 155 hp, with the range due to be extended by even higher power ratings.
2009 Alfa Romeo MiTo
With the Mi.To, Alfa Romeo wishes to offer a new generation of Alfa aficionados the most compact sports car ever.
An up-to-date and innovative car, a name redolent of history. The name Mi.To has great evocative resonance for Alfa Romeo, since it was chosen as a sign of a deep-seated link between the past and future of the brand: between Milan, the city of design that brought the car’s style into being, and Turin, which will be responsible for its industrial production. A decision that highlights the brand’s strong desire to consolidate its Milanese roots.
The Mi.To is the first car to be built since the 8C Competizione, Alfa Romeo’s icon of style and technology, from which it borrows certain characteristic traits: the particular shape of the unframed side windows, the three-lobed motif that distinguishes the front bumper, the shape of the headlights and the LED tail lights. The headlights and tail lights represent a distinctive personalised feature: a frame featuring different forms of material processing and colours to create an ultra-stylish eye-liner effect that underscores the car’s style and aggression.
The highly personal dashboard and seats ensure that the interior represents the ultimate expression of Italian style, welcoming yet sporty, with top-quality materials and the closest attention to detail.
The greatest thought has also gone into defining the dimensions, which add up to a compact and dynamic shape: the Mi.To is 4.06 metres long, 1.44 metres high and 1.72 metres wide.
Style, design, and more: performance and technology must always be top-of-the-range in an Alfa Romeo. As all the brand’s models, the Mi.To is able to appeal to the most demanding customers with its exciting driveability, determined partly to the Alfa DNA system. This control acts on the engine, brakes, steering, suspension and gearbox, allowing three different vehicle behaviour modes based on the driving style best suited to the situation or the customer’s wishes: supersporting (Dynamic), town driving (Normal), maximum safety even in difficult grip conditions (All-Weather). Mi.To is the first car in its segment to offer such innovative technological content.
Great performances are guaranteed by a range of 4 engines, all Turbo (petrol and diesel), that currently range from 90 hp up to 155 hp, with the range due to be extended by even higher power ratings.
Performance and handling have been developed and optimised to offer maximum driving satisfaction in complete safety. The Mi.To offers true Alfa Romeo sporting ride, featuring contractive suspensions – standard on all specifications and engines – that considerably reduce roll and maximum active, passive and preventive safety: VDC stability system as standard and a vehicle structure that is already designed to obtain the top EuroNCAP rating in the future.
The Alfa Mi.To will be introduced to the international press during June and will then be gradually introduced from July in all the major markets.
The model in brief
The Alfa Romeo MiTo, due to launch in all the major markets in stages from July, marks an additional step forward in the brand’s stylistic, historical and technological identity: for nearly one century, Alfa Romeo has stood as an indisputable symbol of motoring design and Italian sporting style, as well as a towering example of engineering and mechanical excellence.
These, in a nutshell, are the distinctive features of the ’sportiest mini’. Alfa Romeo MiTo.
Sporty and compact, Italian style
The Mi.To is the first car to be built since the 8C Competizione – Alfa Romeo’s icon of style and technology, from which it borrows certain characteristic traits: The particular shape of the side windows described by the flush windows, the three-lobed motif that distinguishes the front bumper, the shape of the headlights and the LED tail-lights. The headlight and tail-light surrounds represent a distinctive personalised feature : A frame featuring different forms of material processing and colours to create an ultra-stylish eye-liner effect that underscores the cars style and aggression. The highly distinctive dashboard and seats ensure that the interior of the Alfa Romeo MiTo represents the ultimate expression of Italian style, welcoming yet sporty, with high material quality and scrupulous attention to detail.
The greatest thought has also gone into defining the dimensions, which add up to a compact and dynamic shape that nicely fulfils the requirement for downsizing, one of the buzzwords of present-day motoring design. This trend naturally does not concern only the car’s engines but also its weights and dimensions. Downsizing actually means improving energy efficiency, reducing CO2 emissions and simplifying driving and parking around town. But this new approach to construction does not preclude sportiness. Quite the opposite: the Alfa Romeo MiTo is the best demonstration that the two requirements can be reconciled.
First of all, the car’s compact size and the use of special steels mean that it has been possible to achieve outstanding torsional stiffness (101.200 daNm/rad): this is an essential quality to ensure that the car’s response is always prompt and accurate. The car’s proportions also make a very clear statement that this is a true sports car – it measures 4.06 metres long, 1.44 metres high and 1,72 metres wide – without giving up anything in terms of driving comfort. Indeed the excellent interior space distribution makes for an outstanding amount of room for both driver and passengers.
The Alfa Romeo MiTo is therefore a strong, compact car with dominion of the road and an emphatic personality of its own. This is also borne out by a high waist line – the ratio between body and glass is typical of an Alfa Romeo – and above all a long, very aerodynamic profile (Cd 0.29) that, together with a wide track (1.483 mm), add up to a vice-like grip on the road. Not to mention the fact that the broad tyre tread ensures the best print on the ground under all conditions.
Performance and technology for an exhilarating yet safe drive
Style, design, and more: performance and technology must always be top of the range on an Alfa Romeo. Apart from anything else, an Alfa Romeo has always made its personality known at the steering wheel, one of its slogans being ‘movement and agility’. And the Alfa MiTo is certainly no exception: the new model display all the unmistakeable hallmarks of unrivalled driving satisfaction, Alfa Romeo style: beginning with a favourable weight/power ratio (more than one third higher than the average for the segment); plus a centre of gravity near to the roll axis for the best dynamic response - and concluding with mechanical units that can accommodate even sudden movements in safety. The new Alfa Romeo MiTo is therefore self-avowedly an Alfa to the core, confirming an uncompromising sense of control and driving satisfaction.
This out-and-out sporty configuration is also determined by a low ride typical of a true Alfa Romeo and the choice of two tried and tested suspension layouts – MacPherson at the front and semi-independent with torsion beam at the rear – already used on other Fiat Group Automobiles models but appropriately revised and updated to meet the handling targets that customers perennially expect of an Alfa Romeo car. As a standard feature on all specifications and engines, for example, the Alfa Romeo MiTo are fitted with shock absorbers with coilover springs that considerably reduce roll. Hence a greater capacity to absorb road roughness; maximum linearity and precision in the steering response (the steering ratio – 12.9:1 – is extremely direct and the trajectories very neutral); and great road-holding, maximum stability in high-speed manoeuvres and the agility of a true Alfa Romeo over tight mixed routes. Not to mention the fact that the four generous disc brakes guarantee an excellent stopping distance: 34 metres from 100 to 0 km/h.
So much for the mechanical options that make the Alfa Romeo MiTo an uncompromising sports car. These features are complemented by the latest new products in the field of electronics. Beginning with the brand new ‘Alfa D.N.A.’ device that the compact Alfa Romeo introduces for the first time in its sector. This control acts on the engine, brakes, steering, suspension and gearbox, allowing three different vehicle behaviour modes based on the driving style best suited to the situation or the customer’s wishes: supersporting (Dynamic), town driving (Normal), maximum safety even in difficult grip conditions (All weather).
Another innovative product introduced on the Alfa Romeo MiTo is the Q2 Electronic system that acts only on the brakes to guarantee the effect of a self-locking differential. On normal cars, the inner wheel loses grip and the trajectory swings wide when the car accelerates out of a bend. with the Q2 Electronic system on the other hand, the traction control device brakes the inner wheel and redistributes the torque, applying it to the outer wheel with the greatest grip. This maintains the desired trajectory with optimum traction: with this system, lateral acceleration rises to 1 g as opposed to the value of 0.95 g obtained without the Q2 Electronic.
Lastly, the Alfa Romeo MiTo adopts another state-of-the-art electronic device for maximum handling: the DST (Dynamic Steering Torque) system that complements the electronic power steering as part of the Vehicle Dynamic Control system. In detail, the DST makes it possible to apply a slight torque to the steering to suggest the correct manoeuvre to the driver. This takes place in very specific circumstances, e.g. to compensate for oversteer or to make the effort at the steering wheel proportional to the steering angle, or to maintain a trajectory if the grip is different on either side.
Powerful, smooth and environmentally-friendly engines
Driving satisfaction means also being able to count on lively and reliable power units. Those provided with the Alfa MiTo are state-of-the-art as far as automotive engineering is concerned in terms of technology, performance and respect for the environment. The engines available at launch will be the 155 bhp 1.4 Turbopetrol, 120 bhp 1.6 JTDM and an aspirated 1.4 engine of limited power (78 bhp) for those who have recently passed their tests. Each with different qualities, all utilised to the full due to pairing with 6 speed manual gearboxes that are individually remarkable for their generosity and lively temperament and also for their high performance and sophisticated technology.
In particular, the 120 bhp 1.6 JTDM is the best engine in its category in terms of specific power (it can achieve a mighty torque of 320 Nm at just 1750 rpm), while also boasting 80% lower particulate emissions and 20% lower CO2 emissions than previous generation power units. In the same way, the top of the range car in terms of power – the 155 bhp 1.4 turbopetrol – offers extraordinary performance for this capacity (top speed of 215 km/h and acceleration from 0 to 100 km/h in just 8.0 seconds) with a 30% reduction in fuel consumption and CO2 emissions compared to cars of the previous generation. Not to mention the fact that Alfa Romeo power units may be distinguished by their unmistakable sound that emphasises the unique nature of the car while complying fully with type approval constraints and environmental aspects.
At a later stage, the Alfa Romeo MiTo engine range will be further extended to include higher power ratings and the introduction of other new features such as the Multiair electronically controlled valve lift system and the innovative DDCT (double clutch) automatic transmission.
Multiair technology is an innovative electronic intake valve control system that meters the air delivered to the chamber during each combustion cycle without having to use a conventional throttle valve, significantly cutting fuel consumption, improving engine response, and making the car more fun to drive.
The secret behind the Multair system is a small oil chamber located between the cam and the intake valve: the volume of oil in this camber can by varied by means of an on-off solenoid valve managed by an electronic control unit. In this way, the cam lift profile can be varied steplessly to match changing engine air demand.
Conceptually, the DDCT Dual Dry Clutch Transmission consists of two transmissions in parallel, each with its own clutch. This makes it possible to select and engage a gear while the other transmission continues to transit drive via another gear. Gear shifts are thus accomplished by gradually switching between the two clutches, ensuring constant torque delivery and traction. The result: peerless driving comfort and responsive handling that far exceeds anything conventional automatic transmissions can offer, combined with higher efficiency and fuel economy.
Segment-beating safety and dynamic behaviour
The Alfa Romeo MiTo was built to obtain the maximum Euro NCAP rating in the future. For this reason, the new model unveils the most sophisticated electronic devices for control of vehicle dynamic safety: Vehicle Dynamic Control (not disengagable) that manages important functions such as the Hill Holder, traction control, assisted panic braking, MSR to prevent the wheels locking during over-run, DST (Dynamic Steering Torque) and Q2 Electronic. All these systems guarantee both driving safety and vehicle traction - hence performance.
The Alfa Romeo MiTo also offers total protection for driver and passengers, as evidenced by 7 airbags as standard (two of which Multistage); three-point seatbelts with pretensioners and load limit limiters; S.A.H.R. (Self Aligning Head Restraint) system, an anti whiplash device built into the backrest on the front seats. Not to mention the contribution to occupant protection made by the body, the bonnet, the doors and the dashboard crossmember in addition to the seats and steering column, that have been designed with a view to their behaviour in the event of an accident.
In the field of preventive safety, the Alfa Romeo MiTo also offers headlights with a daytime function (known as daytime running lights) that automatically turns on the side lights when the engine is turned on – to meet a specific standard that will enter into force in 2012 – and LED tail-lights that offer greater brightness than conventional bulbs for more safety.
Maximum in-car wellbeing
The Alfa Romeo MiTo is also a distillate of technological innovation when it comes to on-board well-being. The new car is also able to offer the most advanced devices and systems in the in-car entertainment field due to its cooperation with the very best partners in each sector.
For example, you can experience the musical lift of a radio with CD—MP3 player or, as an option, steering wheel controls and a Bose® Hi-fi. Or you can access the countless functions of the Blue&Me® device, a system developed in conjunction with Microsoft that offers handsfree operation with a Bluetooth® interface and advanced voice recognition, USB port, MP3 player and SMS interpreter, also available on the MiTo in the two latest versions, i.e. NAV (with pictogram navigation systems) and MAP (with a navigation system on a remote display applied to a special port on the dashboard).
Lastly, a dual zone automatic climate control system and in the future a panoramic sun-roof of ample proportions contribute to the satisfaction of travelling on board the Alfa Romeo MiTo.
Diverse range and custom purchase packages
The Alfa Romeo MiTo is designed for and demanding customers who love to stand out in a crowd and offers two specification levels (Progression and Distinctive); two special Packs (Sport and Premium); 7 different seat trims plus upholstery in top quality ‘Pelle Frau’ leather; 2 Progression interior colours with Sprint dashboard; 3 interior colours with Competizione dashboard; 2 seat colours for the Sport Pack; 3 ‘Pelle Frau’ colours complete the range of interiors. Five types of alloys are also available (from 16’ to 18’) and 10 body shades, of which 5 metallic, that reflects every facet of the sporting soul of the new Alfa Romeo (no fewer than 6 colours have been introduced for the first time on the Alfa Romeo MiTo). These are then combined with 2 non-standard colours for the taillight and headlight frames (in addition to the specific Progression and Distinctive colours) and the frames may also be body-coloured as an option This broad and diverse range confirms the unique nature of the new model
Fiat Group Automobiles Financial Services, a captive finance company set up as a joint venture in partnership with Crédit Agricole, has chosen to support the sale of the Alfa Romeo MiTo with very different financial products that share a single goal: making it possible to buy into the new Alfa Romeo dream, the most compact sports car ever.
The new Alfa Romeo MiTo is self-avowedly an Alfa to the core, for example in its uncompromising sense of control and driving satisfaction. Driving comfort and dynamic behaviour have always been specific features of Alfa Romeo cars: on this car, they amount to a real strength.
The innovative Alfa D.N.A. system
The new model is the first Alfa Romeo car to benefit from the Alfa D.N.A. system, an innovative device that modulates the main driving parameters (engine response, stability control and power steering)
Until now the exclusive preserve of racing cars or supercars, the Alfa D.N.A. system acts on the engine, brakes, steering, suspension and gearbox, allowing three different vehicle behaviour modes based on the driving style best suited to the situation or the customer’s wishes: supersporting (Dynamic), town driving (Normal), maximum safety even in low grip conditions (All weather).
The selector is located in an ergonomic position – in front of the gear lever on the tunnel - and allows one of the three modes to be selected by simply moving the lever (the choice is displayed by the lighting of a specific led and also by a message on the control panel). In detail, for those who desire a relaxed drive in total safety, in Normal mode the individual components involved in the Alfa D.N.A. system are as follows: engine tuned for performance, very slight Vehicle Dynamic Control and DST (Dynamic Steering Torque) alert to prevent oversteer.
If you prefer to use your Alfa Romeo MiTo for more sporty applications, all you have to do is move the lever to Dynamic position: when in this mode, the Alfa D.N.A. offers a unique driving experience because the system makes the VDC and ASR less intrusive (this means the vehicle dynamics are a little more free of the electronic control) and simultaneously activates the Q2 Electronic system. Still in Dynamic mode, the Alfa D.N.A. also acts on the steering and engine to offer a truly comprehensive and entertaining sporting experience. The steering is less power-assisted and offers a more sporty sensation to ensure perfect control. Last but not least, the engine becomes even more responsive with an even prompter response and – with 155 bhp and 120 bhp JTDM Turbopetrol engines, it can even count on an over-boost facility. Altogether, the Alfa Romeo MiTo with Dynamic selection is the ideal choice for entertainment in full safety.
Lastly, the third mode accentuates the effect of traction control and increases sensitivity to mu-split (this DST active electronic steering function cuts in when driving over surfaces with different levels of grip (in winter, for example, it is often the case that two wheels are on ice while the other two are on asphalt). When ‘All Weather’ is selected on the selector, the Alfa D.N.A. system makes the car easier to control over road surfaces with low grip (e.g. on wet surfaces or snow), taking action to control vehicle dynamics because the VDC cut-in threshold is lowered.
The new Alfa Romeo MiTo suspension systems
One of the briefs given to the designers allocated to the ‘Alfa Romeo MiTo’ project was to create a suspension capable of higher-category performance levels. The devices therefore had to ensure great driving ease and precision, outstanding road-holding and the best possible acoustic and vibrational comfort. Hence the choice of two tried and tested layouts - a MacPherson layout at the front and a semi-independent layout with torsion beam at the rear. This choice was made to guarantee ease of driving and maximum weight containment, guaranteeing the handling goals that Alfa Romeo cars have always strived to attain.
In particular the following operations have been carried out to add an exclusive touch to the Alfa Romeo MiTo suspension system. Firstly, the ground tracks are amongst the widest within the relevant segment (front equal to 1483 mm and rear equal to 1475 mm) to emphasise the promptness of response, stability and control even under extreme conditions. The rim channels are also wide in relation to the size of the tyres in order to optimise the handing performance of the tyres, while the stiff, low front or rear springs give the vehicle a sporting ride and feeling in terms of appearance and function. The rear torsion beam with ‘C’ cross section also features high torsional stiffness to enable it also to act as an anti roll bar, thus ensuring optimum roll performance and helping maximise the promptness of response. Lastly, and certainly the most distinctive feature of the Alfa Romeo MiTo suspension, the front and rear shock absorbers feature a coilover fitted inside the shock absorber that acts in parallel with the main spring during the extension travel with the main purpose of reducing roll.
The Alfa Romeo MiTo adopts a MacPherson configuration that certainly represents the best front suspension solution for front-wheel drive transverse-engined minis. This solution optimally safeguards the space inside the engine compartment while simultaneously guaranteeing an excellent compromise in terms of handling and comfort due to the kinematic configuration that is similar in certain respects to that of the more sophisticated double wishbone layout - and also due to the reciprocal distance to the attachment points on the body.
In particular, the main components of this structural configuration are as follows:
- Two-part wishbones in pressed steel (with a patented ‘butterfly’ construction configuration), offering a considerable weight saving
- A front suspension beam offering great structural stiffness with the transverse link near the front arm attachments
- Split dome pads (dual-path configuration) to filter out road vibrations more effectively while ensuring high structural stiffness to benefit driving precision
- Anti-roll stabiliser bar with rods equipped with ball links for anchorage to the shock absorbers that allow greater stabilising efficiency and a more prompt dynamic response when cornering
- Coil springs produced using the side-load method for optimisation of the thrust axis with the aim of reducing tangential forces on the shock absorber pushrod and thus internal friction (system hysteresis) with consequent better absorption of minor road surface roughness
- All versions are fitted with double-acting telescopic hydraulic shock absorbers with a 22 mm rod diameter for great lateral stiffness to promote good road holding on corners, with a rebound spring fitted inside that operates when the shock absorber is under compression to help reduce roll
The semi-independent, torsion beam architecture represents an outstanding rear suspension solution for front wheel drive minis because it takes up less room, guarantees lower weights and also offers a good compromise in terms of handling and comfort. These benefits are guaranteed by the torsion beam that changes shape to allow the wheels to follow road surface roughness while also reacting to the torsion to perform the function of an anti-roll bar.
In detail, the components characteristic of the Alfa Romeo MiTo rear suspension include a torsion beam with C-shaped cross-section for great torsional stiffness and pressed wishbones made out of two halves; differential stiffness slotted bushes for securing the rear axle to the body to ensure good filtering of longitudinal roughness and great stiffness in the event of lateral loads to optimise stability - and lastly, very stiff coil springs to ensure a sporting ride.
Suspension with coilover springs
The front and rear shock absorbers with coilover fitted as standard over the whole range feature a spring between pipe and pushrod, that is secured to one end of the tube in the upper part of the shock absorber and acts during the extension stroke. The point at which the spring starts to act changes according to the length of the spring, which therefore acts in parallel to the main suspension spring.
In detail, fixing the length of the internal shock absorber spring and thus the point at which it acts effectively stabilises the driving condition when the internal shock absorbers spring begins to act and thus contributes to overall vehicle rigidity. As a consequence, fixing the point at which the springs begin to take effect on shock absorbers with coilover springs and producing a car that behaves like a conventional car under normal driving conditions. Under sporty driving conditions, however, the shock absorbers come into play by increasing rollover stiffness, thus benefiting dynamic performance. In the event of high lateral acceleration levels, the Alfa Romeo MiTo equipped with contracting shock absorbers therefore behaves in much the same way as a conventional car with stiffer suspension tuning. In situations where the lateral acceleration values are lower, the shock absorber coilover springs do not cut in and the Alfa Romeo MiTo, unlike cars with stiffer suspension tuning, does not penalise comfort under non-sporting driving conditions.
Another aspect that deserves highlighting is the fact that when the shock absorber coilover springs intervene during a cornering manoeuvre, only the inner wheel shock absorber springs work (by stretching) while the outer wheel shock absorbers do not work (remaining compressed). Under such conditions, the stiffness configuration is therefore asymmetrical and this alters the car’s dynamics during rollover motion, with two consequences: the outer wheels sit more firmly on the road to promote tyre grip (and the hence the transmissible lateral forces) and the roll centres are lower for greater stability.
Alfa Romeos are universally acknowledged to be good-looking, sporty cars that combine a glittering racing pedigree with the cream of contemporary engineering. Cars that enhance everyday driving experiences with a true racing feel and authentic driving satisfaction. And the Alfa Romeo MiTo embodies these qualities to the extent that it may be defined the sportiest mini.
And more. The Alfa Romeo MiTo forcefully expresses all the creative vitality of the brand, a special way of appreciating motor cars that is very far from thinking of them as simply useful means of transport. Alfa Romeos have always been designed for people with expectations that go beyond the strictly necessary into the realm of emotions: aesthetic taste, a passion for sophisticated engineering, the sheer pleasure of sitting behind the wheel and an expression of one’s own personality.
Exteriors designed for dynamism and Italian appeal
The new model, designed by the Alfa Romeo style centre in Arese, is the first car to be built since the 8C Competizione – Alfa Romeo’s icon of style and technology, from which it borrows certain characteristic traits: The particular shape of the side windows described by the flush windows, the three-lobed motif that distinguishes the front bumper, the shape of the headlights and the LED tail-lights. The headlight and tail-light surrounds represent a distinctive personalised feature : A frame featuring different forms of material processing and colours to create an ultra-stylish eye-liner effect that underscores the cars style and aggression.
Available with 3 doors, the Alfa Romeo MiTo is remarkable for its compact size, which sums up the determination of a car designed to guarantee maximum driving efficiency (it is 4.06 metres long, 1.44 m high and 1.72 metres wide). These measurements find stylistic expression in the highly sculpted and skilfully moulded surfaces. In detail, the body is given extra dynamism by the horizontal furrow cut into the side above the front wheelarch. The big wheels and powerful musculature of the rear wings emphasise the model’s personality and strength without detracting from the lines that flow smoothly, almost as though to underscore the formal good looks of the individual exterior details: the drop-shaped headlight embedded, gem-like, in the front wing and the led tail-lights that are a blend of technology and rationalism.
The Alfa Romeo MiTo also offers other distinctive traits that define its strong personality and make it immediately recognisable in accordance with the specific canons of the brand. Beginning with a strong, spare front end dominated by the unmistakable Alfa family feeling, represented by a distinctive trefoil with the shield in the centre. The enter car appears to grow from this point to combine a slight edge of styling aggression with outstanding elegance of form.
The equally distinctive profile gives the model the appearance of an agile, solid and protective car. This is due above all to a pronounced shelf on the side that makes the car look slender and dynamic. Taut lines that meet at the rear and the small area of glass (compared to the large extent of metal at the side) accentuate the wedge-shaped configuration and ensure an out-and-out sporty appearance.
The rear end also has a lot to say stylistically. The rear of the Alfa Romeo MiTo features a small rearscreen supported by powerful shoulders that frame the round, racing-style lights. The bumper houses a large extractor, specific to each version, which is highly three-dimensional and located just under a lip in the bodywork that further enhances the car’s great personality.
The solutions introduced on the Alfa Romeo MiTo to achieve the highest levels of aerodynamic efficiency are not limited to the shape. Air wraps around the car and follows its natural course, unhindered by corners and unevenness. All the pillar and glass surfaces and profiles together with the door mirror shape and position have been optimised by mathematical modelling and also by wind tunnel tests and tests on actual models. The final outcome is a Cd of 0.29 that confirms the sporting qualities of the compact Alfa Romeo.
The Alfa Romeo style centre also developed new colours to emphasise the shape of the Alfa Romeo MiTo that match the car’s sinuous shape while also suggesting modernity and a hint of technology. In particular, 10 body shades are available, of which 5 metallic, that reflect every facet of the sporting soul of the new Alfa Romeo (no fewer than 6 colours have been introduced for the first time on the Alfa Romeo MiTo). The all-important red shade comes in two versions: the traditional non-metallic Alfa Red and the lighter Giulietta red, a reminder of Alfa Romeo’s glorious past, conferring a young and sporty character on this model. The white has also been reformulated and is available in two versions: a warmer non-metallic and an even more gorgeous pearlised version. Grey, the ultimate hi-tech colour, is available in two forms: a very sporty coarse-grained, micalised grey and a paler, more shiny grey.
Black comes in a conventional non-metallic version as well as a new shade, created using a micalised red undercoat that gleams through the black in the sunlight. The Blue colour palette is represented by a very stylish pale pearlised blue. And lastly a special new colour for the new compact Alfa: an intense, warm, deep yellow.
Customers who wish to customise their car still further can order a black painted roof or, for the first time on an Alfa Romeo, choose between 14 different finishes for the headlight and tail-light frames (shiny or satinised chrome, opaque black and titanium grey, plus the 10 body shades). Similarly, the door mirror caps can also be ordered as an option in shiny or satinised chrome, opaque black and titanium grey
The light clusters on the Alfa Romeo MiTo are also worthy of a separate mention as they are veritable gems of design and engineering. The front headlights are available in two versions: the first with halogen bulbs, the second with xenon bulbs (optional) that offer an improved light emission quality and excellent performance in all weathers. In a gas discharge bulb, the usual internal filament is replaced by two electrodes spaced a few millimetres apart. These generate a voltaic discharge in an environment saturated with low-pressure xenon gas. These devices offer three times more brightness and duration than normal headlights with a halogen bulb.
The front headlights also offer a daytime light function (Daytime Running Lights) that automatically turn on the special low energy bulbs to reduce fuel consumption and CO2 emissions when the engine is started up: It should be emphasized that this function complies with the specific European regulation that is due to come into force in 2012.
The tail-lights on the Alfa Romeo MiTo also display careful styling and state-of-the-art technology. The tail-light clusters, produced by Magneti Marelli Automotive Lighting, are circular in shape to create a sporty impression that is also reminiscent of Alfa Romeo tradition. The lights are fitted with LED bulbs that offer greater brightness than conventional bulbs and come on faster when the car brakes. This ensures greater safety and distinctive good looks.
For the interiors, the keynote is sportsmanship and style
Like the exterior shape, the interior of the Alfa Romeo MiTo is as sporty and stylish as Alfa Romeos get.
The interiors, created by the Alfa Romeo Style Centre, take driving position as their starting point and make the driver the centre of attention: excellent distance ratio between pedal, seat, steering wheel and gearlever allow a perception of full control to ensure a typically Alfa Romeo standard of driving satisfaction. The central console also encloses the controls of the climate control system, radio, satellite navigation system, gear lever and Alfa D.N.A. system. The circular analogue speedometer and rev counter on the dashboard are also linked by a high resolution reconfigurable digital display, and perfect lighting (red or white, according to the version) guarantees clear, easy reading of all the instrumentation, particularly at night. And finally, hand position and grip are perfect on the three-spoke steering wheel, even when negotiating difficult manoeuvres.
The interiors of the new model also represent a perfect balance between style and sportiness, a dialectic that the Alfa Romeo translates into a sophisticated combination of colours, top-quality fabrics and superb materials. As is borne out, for example, by finishes and detailing in ‘glossy titanium’: this titanium chrome paint adds greater depth and gloss to a part. As an option, it is also possible to choose superb quality upholstery in Poltrona Frau® (available in Black, Red and Natural leather), a touch of exclusivity that combines the Alfa Romeo brand with one of the most famous Italian designer labels in the world: the final result is a life-enhancing environment with a very hand-crafted look.
The range is made up of Progression and Distinctive specifications (Sport and Premium packs are also available), both with a special natural-looking interior trim. The dashboard breaks down into two parts, a rigid case and a cover that can be customised with different trims ensure sophisticated opulence and a very soft tactile sensation.
In detail, the Progression specification offers a ‘Sprint’ dashboard with two interior looks: black, more classic and reassuring, and red for a more spirited look. The cover is very distinctive in both cases: it features a special stylish, classic and natural form of embossing. The seat centre fabric is made more luxurious by the inclusion of a shiny rubberised thread that makes the entire seat look brighter.
The Distinctive specification comes with a ‘Competizione’ dashboard (whose very distinctive cover comes with a hi-tech embossing that looks like woven carbon fibre, produced using an exclusive process developed by Alfa Romeo) and three interiors with different trims and colours. The black interior is understated and sporty, with a gleam of brightness that gives extra elegance. It is easy to identify the dual soul of the red interior: sporty due to the red component and also elegant due to the black pigment. Lastly, in the blue interior, the blue fibres are woven with the opaque to create the type of shimmering, sporty yet elegant space we have come to expect from an Alfa Romeo.
The seats feature a juxtaposition of materials that can be seen and felt upon touch. The outer skins are smooth and silky with a clean, opaque-coloured look. The central part is always trimmed with the most opulent materials: carbon fibre has been printed onto the microfibre to create an outstanding contrast of shiny/opaque. The feel is unique, sporty due to the underlying microfibre and silky due to the shiny fibre on the surface.
Moving on to the Sport Pack that is particularly notable for its super sporty seat design. The middle features a 3D cloth that adds a much more youthful and dynamic slant to the leather/cloth weave mix on the seat of the 8C Competizione. The two colours used - black and bordeaux - use the interplay between glossy and opaque to add more shimmer and opulence to the seat. At the sides, again in super-matte black, upholstered inserts in a smooth fabric contrast with the opulence of the seat. The entire effect is completed by a fabric with a deliberately material feel to give a unique wrap-around effect and offset the clean finish of the insert. The Mito also features the essential Alfa Romeo logo, repositioned on the inner part of the seat as on the 8C Competizione. The logo is embroidered with a contrasting thread.
Lastly, the ‘Pelle Frau®’ specification is special due to the great attention lavished on the seat upholstered with ‘Pelle Frau® ‘leather: the leather is smooth on the outer parts, with an embroidered Alfa logo on the inner part. Microperforations on the seat centre add movement to the design and ensure breathability.
The central part also features the classic upright cylindrical pattern of padding. The outside parts have also been made very distinctive with the distinctive piping (so typical of most Alfa Romeo seats), this time with a double row of rivets. This feature is also highlighted against black leather due to the contrasting colour.
It should be emphasised that the front and rear seats on the Alfa Romeo MiTo have been designed to guarantee the best comfort for each passenger percentile. This was possible by working in close contact with the best Italian specialists in ergonomics and sports medicine. To promote comfort and above all the absorption of vibrations, the front seats come with a new system for holding up the lumbar area that promotes back support. Not to mention the fact that the front seat padding can adapt to the body’s shape and offer an antisubmarining configuration that prevents the body sliding forward beneath the seat belt in the event of a violent head-on impact.
The following adjustments are possible on the front seats: ride; reach (with a total travel of no less than 240 mm); backrest tilt (by means of a handle that allows continuous adjustment) – and lumbar (standard on the driver’s seat and optional on the passenger seat). Heated front seats are also available as an option. The front seats are also equipped with height adjustment and a S.A.H.R. (Self Aligning Head Restraint) system that moves the head restraint closer to the neck of seat occupants to lessen the effect of whiplash in the event of impact.
The rear seats are also provided with the backrest fixed or split 40/60 according to the version. This seat too offers an antisubmarining structure and features padding of differential stiffness according to the seat area occupied (this parameter measures the ability of the padding to yield beneath the body’s weight). The rear seats are fitted with Isofix attachments for child seats while the head restraints are sliding saddle type. The Alfa Romeo MiTo is also type-approved as standard for two people in the rear (a third seat, available as an option, comes with the 40/60 configuration) to enhance the sporty qualities of the high-containment seats.
Last but not least, the car’s compact size does not detract in any way from the overall roominess that is at the top of its category as evidenced, for example, by the outstanding amount of room available for rear passengers. The Alfa Romeo MiTo also offers a number of convenient compartments of various sizes to accommodate small and medium-sized items. The luggage compartment on the new Alfa Romeo is also impressive for its regular shape and 270 litres of capacity.
Engines and gearboxes
The true heart and the true strength of every Alfa Romeo model is its engine. And the Alfa MiTo is no exception: the new car’s attractive, personality-packed looks conceal a diverse range of outstanding high-tech power units that offer generous performance and are respectful of the environment. Not to mention the fact that Alfa Romeo power units may be distinguished by their unmistakable sound that emphasises the unique nature of the car while complying fully with type approval constraints and environmental aspects.
All the power units are produced by FPT – Fiat Powertrain Technologies, the Fiat Group sector that is responsible for all the activities necessary for innovation, research, design and production of engines and gearboxes for every type of application: From cars to industrial vehicles; boats to agricultural vehicles. With approximately 20,000 employees, 15 plants and 10 research centres in seven different countries, this sector is one of the most significant enterprises in the power unit field anywhere in the world. Within FPT – Fiat Powertrain Technologies, approximately 3000 highly specialized engineers are engaged in the development and engineering of innovative technologies. More than 40 patents filed each year confirm the quality and seriousness of this undertaking, making FPT – Fiat Powertrain Technologies a great centre of technological excellence and continual innovation.
Powerful, smooth and environmentally-friendly engines
Two petrol engines will be available at the time of launch (78 bhp 1.4 and 155 bhp 1.4 Turbopetrol) and one turbodiesel 120 bhp 1.6 JTDM. Each with different qualities, all utilised to the full due to pairing with 6 speed manual gearboxes that are individually remarkable for their generosity and lively temperament and also for their high performance and sophisticated technology. The specifications of each power unit are given in detail below.
155 bhp 1.4 Turbopetrol
The Alfa Romeo MiTo offers its customers a new 1.4 litre turbocharged Turbopetrol engine that is distinguished by its performance, alacrity of throttle response, low fuel consumption, simple construction, sturdiness and reliability.
The new 1.4 16v turbopetrol engine is offered with a maximum power of 155 bhp (114 kW) at 5500 rpm and a maximum torque of 206 Nm (the 155 bhp is achieved at just 200 rpm) but a mighty 230 Nm can be obtained at 3000 rpm by simply selecting the Dynamic driving mode on the Alfa D.N.A switch. Driving flexibility is therefore high, with reduced use of the gearbox for a satisfying, relaxed drive, though all you have to do to achieve a more beefy response is to press your foot on the throttle. This is aided by the low inertia of the turbocharger that makes it possible to obtain maximum performance from a throttle command, without the annoying lag typical of this type of engine.
All this sportiness also comes with very frugal fuel consumption. The engine is also very reliable, guaranteed by the hundreds of thousands of kilometres covered by the prototypes during the development stage, combined with thousands of hours on static and dynamic test rigs. The scheduled maintenance interval is 30,000 km, without any need for an intermediate service. The oil/water heat exchanger guarantees these results. The oil filter is environmentally friendly.
In detail, a computerised engine control system manages all functions by means of sophisticated mathematical algorithms. The throttle control is drive-by-wire without any mechanical connection so that the driver can obtain the desired response from the engine, i.e. smooth or sporty, always with the greatest energy efficiency. These outstanding results were made possible by the careful design and development of all engine components totalling over 120,000 hours of work. The most up-to-date design and computer-aided modelling methods were used to simulate the toughest turbocharger stress conditions. The main components were designed from the outset to withstand the ultra-high performance levels of an up-to-date turbocharged engine in terms of resistance to mechanical stress and also to ensure behaviour that is entertaining and safe at all times. Particular attention was paid to fluid dynamics and combustion in order to minimise power loss and reach high levels of performance without compromising fuel consumption.
120 bhp 1.6 JTDM
The Alfa Romeo MiTo is fitted with the 1.6 JTDM, 16 valve engine, a latest-generation turbodiesel engine that confirms Alfa Romeo’s technological excellence in this field since 1997, the year that saw the advent of the first diesel common rail in history on the Alfa 156.
This sparkling 1.6 l engine available on the 120 bhp version ideally combines the winning attributes of a latest-generation common rail turbodiesel unit with the tax breaks and other advantages deriving from the downsizing design philosophy. This engine is therefore the ideal solution for those who seek an effective compromise between respect for the environment and low running costs without relinquishing power and flexibility for authentic driving satisfaction.
In detail, the 1.6 Multijet improves on performance, comfort, emissions – it is Euro 5 Ready – and running costs while also offering considerable benefits: for the same power output, the engine offers nearly 25% more torque (320 Nm at 1,750 rpm) and 8% less fuel consumption (measured over a Nedc cycle). All this with considerably improved driving satisfaction, due above all to respectable torque values at low speeds. These aims have been achieved through a comprehensive optimisation of combustion that exploits the potential of the engine’s new injectors to the full.
The 1.6 JTDM offers exceptional torque delivery in absolute terms, which is all the more impressive when one considers the cylinder capacity: a torque of 320 Nm makes this engine a performance leader amongst medium capacity power units. If we then consider specific torque (i.e. divided by cylinder capacity) the 1.6 is the highest performing engine in the category of power outputs up to 200 bhp, with the sole exception of supersport power units. And more. If we take into account that the maximum torque is delivered at just 1750 rpm (280 Nm are already available at 1500 rpm), we are able to immediately appreciate the extent to which the 1.6 Multijet represents a revolution compared to present-day diesel engines: no other engine, however recent, can offer such a high torque delivery at such a low rpm. All things considered, the new JTDM offers exhilarating driving satisfaction that is difficult to match. This achievement is also borne out by the acceleration values (from 0 to 100 km/h in just 9.9 seconds) and the top speed (198 km/h).
Combining the new injection system with new-generation variable geometry turbo engines also completes an absolutely outstanding technological picture.
In the same way, the 120 bhp 1.6 incorporates the most advanced exhaust gas treatment technologies, namely a Close Coupled Diesel Particulate Filter and an integral EGR (Exhaust Gas Recirculation) system that improves control of temperature and gas flow, simultaneously guaranteeing lower emissions and low fuel consumption. This set of solutions ensures the power unit is Euro5-ready well ahead of the date on which the regulation enters into force: this is the best example of the great commitments made throughout the Fiat group to ensure environmentally-friendly mobility.
The 120 bhp 1.6 JTDM engines are combined with a six-speed manual gearbox that ensures lower rpm particularly at highway or motorway speeds, with the twofold advantage of less noise in the passenger compartment and a reduction in true fuel consumption.
78 bhp 1.4 aspirated engine
Alfa Romeo developed this engine specially in order to produce a car designed particularly for young people, i.e. with limited power capacity but still able to reflect all the qualities of handling and driving satisfaction that are expected of an Alfa. The aspirated 1.4 engine has a power output of 78 bhp (58 kW) at 6000 rpm and a maximum torque of 125 Nm at 4250 rpm. The weight/power ratio expressed by this particular engine took its inspiration from Italian laws introduced for those who have recently passed their driving test, that limit the specific power over tare ratio for drivers who have recently passed their driving test to 50 Kw/t. This law was originally intended to enter into force in July 2008, but this has now been postponed to January 2009.
Slick, reliable gearboxes
A range of reliable, sturdy and sophisticated gearboxes has been developed to match the engine range on offer for the Alfa Romeo MiTo: the new vehicle can be fitted with three variants:
- M32: manual, 6-speed for the 155 bhp 1.4 Turbopetrol and the 120 bhp 1.6 JTDM
- C514: 6-speed manual gearbox for the 78 bhp 1.4 engine
All the gearboxes share a dual cable external mechanism that ensures slick manoeuvres and noiselessness without transmitting mechanical vibrations through the linkage. The details: the new-generation external linkage is technologically advanced due to the extensive use of high-performance technopolymers to guarantee the various qualities of strength, weight and self-lubricating capability. Bench testing under extreme weather conditions also guided the development of materials, couplings and processes to ensure product toughness and reliability. The new linkage was also designed to ensure system and performance characteristics of maximum comfort and manoeuvrability. To achieve greater comfort through maximum mechanical filtering action, a new distribution pattern was adopted for an inertia mass distribution that is strongly shifted toward the gearbox.
Among the engineering features worthy of highlighting, the gear casing and clutch casing have been optimised in terms of lightness and noise absorption though FEM (Finite Element Method) computing techniques. The first and second gears, i.e. those most commonly used by motorists, also come with triple cone synchronisers (double-cone on the C514) that require 40% lower engagement effort than a conventional single-cone type.
In detail, all the gear boxes fitted to the Alfa Romeo MiTo feature an internal gear control system on four selection planes with a central positioner. Lubrication is dynamic with oil flows channelled. The advantages include: lower wear and higher efficiency during torque transmission and low temperature manoeuvrability.
The quality and reliability of these components is also guaranteed by the great care taken at the assembly stage, when each component is pre-tested and electronic measurements are carried out on the parameters that define efficiency, flexibility and clearance.
6-speed gearbox (C514) for the 78 bhp 1.4 unit
Increased acoustic comfort, lower shift effort even when cold and greater gear engagement precision. These are the benefits offered to the motorist by the C514 gearbox (transverse configuration with two shafts in a cascade and differential) that underwent improvements to the following parts: gears, synchronisers, lubrication, inner gear linkage and clutch control.
When paired with the 78 bhp 1.4, the 6-speed device represents the latest upgrade to the gearbox in terms of transmissible torque (125 Nm). The use of higher quality materials for the gears, the use of an upgraded differential with oversized bevel gears and a bolted connection between box and ring gear make for the greatest reliability. The main qualities are excellent gearshift manoeuvrability, low shift noise and low weight.
6-speed gearbox (M32) for the 1.6 JTDM and the 1.4 Turbopetrol
Increased acoustic comfort, lower shift effort even when cold and greater gear engagement precision. These are the benefits offered to the motorist by the M32 gearbox (transverse configuration with two shafts in a cascade and differential) that has undergone improvements to the following parts: gears, synchronisers, lubrication, inner gear linkage and clutch control.
The unit is available in a 6-speed version and can withstand high torque values (320 Nm). This makes it the ideal choice for higher-performing engines: the 120 bhp 1.6 JTDM and the 155 bhp 1.4 Turbopetrol. It is also fitted with a gear linkage that features a selection travel limiter to safeguard more effectively against involuntary engagement of reverse and to increase fifth and sixth gear engagement precision.
The Alfa Romeo MiTo has been designed to obtain the maximum score in passive and active safety tests. A level of total protection that makes this car one of the safest cars anywhere in the world. Suffice it to say that the new model has passed the most severe crash tests and already complies with proposals for future European standards. Here are details of some of the devices and systems adopted on the new Alfa Romeo MiTo.
Active safety benefits from state-of-the-art technology
To ensure active safety, the new model offers some of the most sophisticated electronic devices to control the vehicle’s dynamic performance (from braking to traction) and push its dynamic limits still further. These devices are not intrusive for the driver but greatly benefit safety. The operation of these devices has been developed by means of simulations and meticulous track testing with the aim of ensuring maximum driving satisfaction.
The power-assisted, hydraulic system on the Alfa Romeo MiTo comprises two cross-over independent circuits, and is particularly effective, guaranteeing prompt, smooth braking combined with minimal stopping distances. The system naturally differs according to the engine version (in terms of weight and power): vehicles equipped with the 78 bhp 1.4 engine are fitted with 257 mm self-ventilated discs on the front wheels and cast iron floating calliper with 54 mm piston; the rear brake discs are solid (251 mm diameter) while the calliper is aluminium with a 38 mm diameter piston.
The spirited 155 bhp Alfa Romeo MiTo 1.4 Turbopetrol is fitted with 305 mm ventilated discs with one-piece aluminium callipers with four pistons on the front wheels. The rear discs are solid (251 mm diameter) with a floating calliper. It should be emphasised that this version uses a one-piece aluminium calliper on the front brakes: this option increases calliper stiffness without increasing the weight and therefore makes for increased performance, particularly during a sporty drive.
Turbocharger power unit is fitted with 281 mm self-ventilated discs on the front wheels and cast iron floating calliper with 57 mm piston; the rear brake discs are solid (251 mm diameter) while the calliper is aluminium with a 38 mm diameter piston.
ABS with EBD
In addition to a high-performing brake system, the Alfa Romeo MiTo also comes with one of the most advanced ABS antilock brake systems on the market today. It features four active sensors and a hydraulic control unit with 12 solenoids. The ABS contains an electronic brakeforce distributor (EBD). This device apportions braking action over all four wheels to prevent locking and ensure full control of the car under all conditions. The system also adapts its operation to wheel grip conditions and brake pad efficiency to reduce pad overheating.
VDC (Vehicle Dynamic Control)
The VDC is Alfa Romeo’s version of the ESP (Electronic Stability Program), a system that cuts in under extreme conditions when car stability is at risk and also helps the driver to control the car. As befits a true Alfa, the VDC is a sporting device that allows outstanding road holding. It allows the driver the full satisfaction of controlling the car as long as conditions are normal but cuts in just before things become critical. The VDC is permanently engaged.
The MSR (Motor Schleppmoment Regelung) cuts in when the gear is shifted down abruptly under conditions of low grip. This device restores torque to the engine to prevent the wheel skidding as a result of lock. To achieve this result, the VDC continually monitors tyre grip in both longitudinal and lateral directions. If the car skids, it cuts in to restore directionality and ride stability. It uses sensors to detect rotation of the car body about its vertical axis (yaw speed), car lateral acceleration and the steering wheel angle set by the driver (which indicates the chosen direction). It then goes on to compare these data with parameters generated by a computer and establishes – via a complex mathematical model – whether the car is cornering within its grip limits or if the front or rear is about to skid (understeer or oversteer).
To restore the correct trajectory, it then generates a yaw movement in the opposite direction to the movement that gave rise to the instability by braking the appropriate wheel (interior or exterior) individually and reducing engine power (via the throttle). This is the key attribute of the device designed by Alfa Romeo engineers. It acts in a modulated fashion on the brakes to ensure the action is as smooth as possible (and the drive is not therefore disturbed). The engine power reduction is contained to ensure outstanding performance and great driving satisfaction at all times.
ASR (Anti Slip Regulation)
The ASR (Anti Slip Regulation) system, an integral part of the VDC, optimises traction at any speed with the aid of the brakes and engine control. The device computes the degree of slip on the basis of wheel rpm calculated by the ABS sensors and activates two different control systems to restore grip. When an excessive power demand causes both drive wheels to slip (e.g. in the case of aquaplaning or when accelerating over an unsurfaced, snowy or icy road), it reduces engine torque by reducing the throttle opening angle and thus air flow. If only one wheel slips (e.g. the inside wheel following acceleration or dynamic load changes), this is automatically braked without the driver touching the brake pedal. The resulting effect is similar to that of a self-locking differential. This allows the Alfa Romeo MiTo to get out of difficulty easily on road surfaces with low grip.
CBC (Cornering Brake Control)
The CBC (Cornering Brake Control) system comes into play when the car takes a corner when fully braked. In this case, the brake pressure is discharged on each wheel individually to maintain vehicle stability, minimising any understeer or oversteer behaviour.
DST (Dynamic Steering Torque)
The VDC on the Alfa Romeo MiTo always cuts in unobtrusively because it is combined with DST (Dynamic Steering Torque), an active electronic steering system that makes corrections automatically and also controls oversteer over surfaces with low grip. The DST therefore improves both driving safety and handling performance. Under all driving conditions, the electronic steering system suggests the correct manoeuvres to be carried out to the driver to allow outstanding road holding performance while instilling a great sense of security. This is achieved through continuous interaction between the electric power steering (which generates torque at the steering wheel) and electronic control of dynamics (VDC). In detail, the DST automatically makes corrections, helps to maintain vehicle control and ensures that the VDC cuts in more unobtrusively.
The DST System is particularly useful in the case of oversteer because it facilitates the most appropriate manoeuvre to maintain control of the vehicle in every situation. The MCF function (Mu-Split control function) cuts in when driving over surfaces with different levels of grip (in winter, it is often the case that two wheels are on ice while the other two are on asphalt). In this particular case, the DST System allows automatic countersteering that makes it possible to control the vehicle (preventing it from spinning) and also to pull up within the shortest possible space (the braking distance is reduced by 10%). In the event of a sporty drive, if the system detects higher lateral acceleration (from 0.6 g) it cuts in to deliver an increase in resistant torque to the steering wheel. In this way it significantly improves the sensation of mastering the car on corners, particularly at high speed.
HBA and Hill-holder
The equipment array on the Alfa Romeo MiTo is completed by the HBA system, the hydraulic electronic hydraulic braking assistant which automatically increases the pressure in the braking circuit during emergency braking. And by the Hill-holder system, which maintains the braking pressure for a few moments after the driver removes his foot from the pedal, to simplify hill starts and prevent the car from slipping backwards.
Another specific feature of the Alfa Romeo MiTo is its new Q2 Electronic system that improves the transfer of drive torque to the wheels and, in particular, guarantees excellent cornering behaviour thus making the car safer and more entertaining during a sporty drive or when grip is poor. In detail, the Q2 Electronic System is based on the principle of making full use of the braking system that, when appropriately controlled by the VDC control unit, develops a form of behaviour very similar to that of a limited slip differential (in other words, the Q2 Electronic System electronically stimulates the presence of a self-locking differential). More specifically, when accelerating on a bend, the front braking system acts on the inner wheel to increase traction on the outer wheel (bearing the highest load) and thus distributing torque between the front drive wheels in a continuous, dynamic manner according to driving and road surface conditions.
Systems and devices for total protection
One hundred simulations on a HyGe slide, five hundred crash tests and two hundred tests on components and subsystems. These statistics demonstrate Alfa’s deep-rooted commitment to making the Alfa Romeo MiTo one of the safest cars in its segment and also in the field of motoring as a whole. The new model represents the state-of-the-art as far as passive safety is concerned. Total protection, in short, as evidenced by 7 airbags as standard (two of which are Multistage); three-point seatbelts with pretensioners and load limit limiters; S.A.H.R. (Self Aligning Head Restraint) system, an anti whiplash device built into the backrest on the front seats. Not to mention the contribution to occupant protection made by the body, the bonnet, the doors and the dashboard crossmember in addition to the seats and steering column, that have been designed with a view to their behaviour in the event of an accident.
Air-Bag Smart 2 system
Full protection, smart protection. In the event of a head-on impact, occupant protection is guaranteed by an innovative constraint system known as the ‘Air-Bag Smart 2’, because it is able automatically adapt the activation parameters according to the severity of the impact. Beginning with two front airbags for driver and front passenger that work in a different way to conventional airbags. Driver and passenger front air bags with dual stage activation; when the impact is of moderate force, the system opens only to the first of two stages; during more serious collisions, the control units control the activation of both stages. The airbags may, however, be activated in accordance with different sequences determined by the various impact types. In each case, braids inside the bags ensure that maximum bag dimension and final shape are as non-invasive as possible for passengers. The front passenger airbag may be deactivated manually (by means of the control panel menu) so that a baby can be carried in a seat with its back to the direction of motion (the pretensioner remains active).
The sensors on the ‘Air-Bag Smart 2’ system also control the activation of the seat belt pretensioners. The Alfa Romeo MiTo is equipped with front seatbelts complete with reel, pretensioner and load limiter. In case of impact, an electronically-controlled pyrotechnic pretensioner rewinds the belt within a few milliseconds so that it fits snugly to the body. The front reels contain load limiters that yield in a controlled manner to modulate the force exercised on the shoulders of the belt wearer.
Control unit and sensors
The Alfa Romeo MiTo is therefore equipped with all the most advanced passive safety devices currently available. They are governed by a sophisticated new ‘nerve system’ that is controlled by an electronic control unit located in the front tunnel. This control unit receives signals from the various sensors distributed throughout the car (and others inside) and decides how many devices should be activated and which ones.
This is why the system is said to be ‘smart’. It does not activate when the occupant is in no danger of striking the car walls regardless of whether an impact has taken place or not. It detects stresses that are not caused by an impact. It will even work if the electrical system stops working. All this is made possible by particularly sophisticated operating strategies and detection terminals. Such as the CSA (Crash Severity Algorithm) that is able to recognise the severity of impact and control the Multistage front airbags; or a sensor that detects the presence of a passenger and if necessary warns users to fasten seat belts by means of an audible and visual signal on the control panel. And more: two-way accelerometers that make it possible to enhance the function of the satellite sensors, installed on the central pillars, in order to ensure timely operation of the side airbags and window bags in the event of side impact.
Lastly, the Alfa Romeo MiTo is also fitted with a decentralised sensor for detecting frontal impact or ECS (Early Crash Sensor); this extra device is located on the front structure of the car and allows the control unit to activate the front airbags earlier. Unlike conventional systems, this device allows the bag to inflate fully before occupants even start to move in the direction of the steering wheel or dashboard.
Window-bags and sidebags
These airbags drop down along the windows to safeguard the passengers’ heads in the case of side impact. Compared to other solutions, the window-bags adopted on the Alfa Romeo MiTo are more protective (because they always take up the correct position), faster to inflate and less invasive for passengers. They open from top to bottom and do not involve a risk of secondary damage to occupants’ arms.
They also effectively safeguard the heads of front and rear passengers because they extend along the entire width of the window and ensure protection even during rollover. Two bags (one on the right and the other on the left) are located under the roof rails where they are folded into a closed compartment. At the appropriate moment, the covering bends open to allow the bags to expand and drop downward.
The Alfa Romeo MiTo comes with two side airbags located inside the seat backrest to protect the pelvis and chest of its passengers even when the car is struck from the side. This positioning affords better protection for passengers regardless of height, sitting position and seat adjustment.
The area beneath the steering column, typically the most dangerous for the knees, has been made safer by the use of a knee bag and also a new steering lock position that involved moving the ignition key from its conventional position.
Protective, wrap-around seats
Particular attention was paid to the seats, that play an all-important role in ensuring effective containment of the occupant and therefore achieving the required level of safety during head-on, rear and side impact. The performance required of the seats exceeds that imposed by European type-approval standards. The seats have been developed to exceed the toughest standards required by the market. Amongst other things, the front seats of the Alfa Romeo MiTo are equipped with a S.A.H.R. (Self Aligning Head Restraint) system that moves the head restraint closer to the neck of seat occupants to lessen the effect of whiplash in the event of impact.
Emergency stop indication
The Alfa Romeo MiTo introduces an important new product in the field of preventive safety: a system that indicates an emergency stop by operating the direction indicators. The function enters into operation when - at a speed greater than 50 km/h – a deceleration greater than 7 m/s² occurs, the brake pedal is pressed and the hazard warning lights are not active. Once these parameters are satisfied, the system automatically activates both front and rear direction indicators.
Alfa Romeo breathalysers for responsible driving
One titbit of information: Alfa Romeo MiTo customers will be able to order a kit with three Alfa Romeo branded alcohol testers to raise public awareness - and particularly the awareness of young people - of the strategic importance that safety, accident-prevention and road safety education must hold in any progressive society today. Our brand is therefore to the forefront of campaigns to achieve this ambitious social aim. For example, last July, Alfa Romeo launched a communication campaign about the risks of drinking alcohol before driving a car.
In particular, the campaign used the image of a bottle opener standing in an anthropomorphic way, with a red stain nearby. This deliberately strong and direct visual was complemented by the pay-off: ‘The satisfaction of a nice drink. The satisfaction of driving. Alfa Romeo supports them both. But never at the same time’. Alfa Romeo’s appeal for responsible driving was circulated in Italy and in Europe through free press newspapers and the Promocard circuit. It went out during the summer, which is the time of the highest number of incidents related to alcohol consumption by young people.
Apart from driving satisfaction, an Alfa Romeo car must also offer on-board well-being. And that means surrounding the driver and passenger with technologies that ensure the very highest acoustic and climatic comfort. The result is a cosseting, enveloping environment, free from vibration thanks to the careful soundproofing and the outstanding torsional and flexural rigidity of the body.
The following also contribute to the satisfaction of travelling on-board the Alfa Romeo MiTo: an automatic dual-zone climate control system, sophisticated radio and, as an option, a Bose® Sound System. Other features can also be ordered that represent the pick of the current crop of in-car telematic and satellite navigation devices.
Interior climate is one of the main comfort factors during a trip and is also very important for preventive safety because temperature, humidity and ventilation affect the driver’s well-being and thus his or her level of alertness. And of course the heating and ventilation system is also responsible for demisting the windscreen and side windows.
For this reason, the new model is available with two climate control systems: a manual climate control system and an automatic dual-zone system. In particular, the dual-zone device automatically controls temperature, air flow, air distribution, compressor activation and recirculation by means of an electronic control unit. The system also implements an equivalent temperature climate control strategy. Special sensors record internal and external temperature and assess the sensation of thermal well-being experienced by passengers, i.e. the energy exchange between human body and passenger compartment that is affected by humidity, temperature and treated air flow. Another sensor located in a central position at the base of the windscreen records solar radiation on the car and the angle at which the rays strike the passenger compartment. This allows the system to prevent an excessive increase in temperature inside the car caused by the sun’s rays and thus to inform the climate control system in time. The automatic dual-zone climate system can provide two different temperatures and air flows simultaneously: one in the right part of the passenger compartment and the other in the left.
Radio and Hi-Fi system
The very attractive audio package offered by the new model includes a radio and two sound system levels. It should be emphasised that, for the first time in its segment, the Alfa Romeo MiTo offers a double tuner that may, as an option, be fitted with a double aerial for up to 80% better reception.
The first sound system comes complete with 6 speakers (two mid-woofers with a power rating of 40W, two 40W full range speakers and two 30W tweeters) while the second level comes with 8 speakers (four subwoofers with a power rating of 40 W and four 30W speakers). Both systems have in common the fact that system specifications and speaker arrangements have been painstakingly adjusted to fit the passenger compartment.
The radio comes with a CD and MP3 file player and is built into the design of the dashboard and laid out in user-friendly fashion. They are located on the upper part of the dashboard (the correct arrangement for the driver) and are also within easy reach of the passenger, not to mention the fact that they can be managed using controls on the steering wheel.
The radio comes with RDS (Radio Data System), TA (traffic news), PTY (a code used by radio stations to indicate the type of music they play so that the set can automatically select the type of music preferred by the listener). Every time the radio is turned on, the volume settings are the same as when it was turned off while another device automatically corrects equalisation on the basis of car speed. The customer can also choose between seven equalisation bands for personal setting of sound parameters. Not to mention the fact that all information is displayed in a clear and immediate manner because of the large display. Lastly, the Alfa Romeo MiTo radio may be connected both to the Blue&Me™ system and to the Bose® Sound System.
Bose® Sound System
The Bose ® Sound System produced for Alfa Romeo by the US company Bose, a leader in the Hi-Fi sound sector, offers each passenger exceptional listening quality under all driving conditions. The hi-fi system has a power output of 690 W (345 W regular power) and the sound system comprises eight speakers and a subwoofer with a 4-channel amplifier (320 Watts maximum power) built into the luggage compartment, which plays the lowest frequencies.
The Bose® Sound System arouses the same emotions you feel when you listen to a live concert. The system offers realistic reproduction with crystal clear high notes and full, rich bass tones. It does not fall into the trap of creating unnatural sounds that are initially appealing but are tiresome for the listener in the long run. This result is achieved by four 6.5’’ speakers for medium frequencies - located in the front door panels and the side panels of the rear doors - and four additional tweeters for playing high frequencies - installed in the front pillars and in the rear seat panels.
In-car telematic and satellite navigation systems
The Alfa Romeo MiTo is a bearer of new technology in terms of its engines and also in terms of the electronic systems it employs to ensure on-board comfort and wellbeing. The best example is the ‘Blue&MeTM’ system that adds major new features to aid musical enjoyment on this Alfa Romeo model. Customers can also equip their car with the ‘Blue&MeTM Nav’, an extremely effective pictogram navigation system that also allows access to a set of simple, useful on-line systems at the best price on the market. Another option is the ‘Blue&MeTM MAP’, a multifunctional portable navigation system, also developed with Magneti Marelli.
Blue&Me and Blue&Me Nav
The Alfa Romeo MiTo may be equipped with ‘Blue&Me’ (also with a Nav version), an innovative system created as a result of a joint venture between Fiat Group Automobiles and Microsoft, that changes the paradigms of in-car communication, information and entertainment to improve comfort and the quality of time spent on board.
The device is extremely simple to use, and allows you to make/receive telephone calls and to listen to music simply and safely as you drive. And thanks to Bluetooth® technology, you can also communicate with the outside world from the car using your own personal devices such as mobile phones or handheld computers.
The Blue&MeTM is also based on a system that is always able to keep pace with the times, with updatable, flexible and modular features. Fiat Group Automobiles and Microsoft, with the support of Magneti Marelli, also offer a platform that can be adapted to most mobile phones, music players or other personal devices to replace the current costly and rigid hardware with the great benefit of being able to constantly keep pace with market innovations and maintain perfect integration with the car. All at a very accessible price. The Blue&MeTM system also ensures the greatest safety and ease of use. Because the voice control system is fully integrated with keys on the steering wheel and information on the instrument panel display, customers equipped with a Bluetooth® mobile phone can use it even if it is in a jacket pocket or handbag without ever taking their hands off the steering wheel. Not to mention the fact that ‘advanced voice recognition’ allows immediate interactivity - no voice learning stage is required - and also allows incoming texts to be read out.
On this very car, i.e. the Alfa Romeo MiTo, the Blue&MeTM achieves a further step forward by adding new functions that confirm the platform’s great flexibility. By connecting the digital device to the USB port, it is possible to listen to hours and hours of digital music in MP3, WMA and WAV format recorded on mobile phones, MP3 players and USB pen drives. For greater compatibility with your i-Pod, it is now possible when in your Alfa Romeo MiTo to listen to music tracks with an AAC extension in addition to the above formats, provided they are free from digital rights (DRM) and saved in Hard Disk Drive mode. And more. For greater passenger comfort, the Alfa Romeo MiTo Blue&MeTM also displays information on music tracks on the radio display (they were previously available on the control panel).
Alfa Romeo MiTo customers can also choose to equip their car with Blue&MeTM Nav, and that includes a navigation kit consisting of a USB drive containing the stored maps and a backup CD that may be used to transfer the maps to personal MP3 players.
The Nav key has a direct connection to the navigation menu, that may also be accessed by means of steering wheel controls and voice commands. When the USB key is inserted, navigation may be started. The destination may be entered by selecting the initial letters of the address using the steering wheel controls, which may be completed using voice commands.
Like the other information, navigation details are also available on the vehicle control panel: address of the destination, pictograms of the direction to be followed, arrival information, points of interest together with conventional voice instructions providing information on the next turn-off through the car speakers. Unlike normal devices (that do not allow you to navigate and listen to music CDs at the same time unless a CD changer is fitted), with Blue&MeTM Nav it is possible to navigate and listen to music on your media player with the greatest ease while still remaining connected to your mobile phone.
By using the navigation program on a Personal Computer with the aid of the back-up CD it is possible to save maps for several countries purchased after sale on a USB drive. In this case it is possible to select an entire country (for example Italy, France, Germany, etc.) or a predefined part (for example northern/central/southern Italy) or even a region that incorporate several maps belonging to different countries (for example Northern Italy and Switzerland, Austria and Southern Germany).
News services available with Blue&MeTM NAV
The Alfa Romeo MiTo offers on-line services developed in partnership with Telecom Italia and available on the Blue&MeTM Nav system (SOS, Info and Drive Me and InSure) that may be activated with complete freedom by the customer.
‘SOS’: the SOS emergency service, available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, is activated by pressing the SOS button. In this case, a call and a text message containing the car’s position are forwarded to the operating centre. Whatever country customers are driving through, the call centre operators are able to put them at ease by answering them in the same language.
The service also activates automatically if an airbag is set off. The vehicle will quickly be located and roadside and medical assistance will be available. The SOS may also be used in the event of illness or danger. These services will be free of charge during the car warranty period (after this they will be available by paying an annual subscription).
‘Info e Drive Me’: information at the service of the motorist. Wherever you go, it will always be easy to obtain assistance and up-to-date information on events, traffic conditions, restaurants, cinemas, night spots and much more in no fewer than five European countries: Italy, France, Great Britain, Germany and Spain.
All you have to do is press the INFO button to speak to a dedicated operator who will answer all your questions or, if you prefer, send the coordinates of the chosen destination to the navigation system (at this point, the device will automatically compute the route).
The INFO services will be ‘pay per use’ (the cost will be based on seconds of conversation with the service centre) and, an important feature of this system, no annual subscription be required: the cost is 2.4 Euro cents per second (1.44 euro/ min), plus 30 cents for ‘each call answered’.
InSure: due to the satellite location system and agreements with most of the insurance companies, it will be possible to benefit from discounts on civil liability insurance (up to 20%) and also fire and theft insurance (up to 50%). If your car is stolen you will be able to trace it by tracking. It will also be possible to establish how many kilometres will be covered by the car and, on the basis of this figure, take out ad hoc insurance policies that are more advantageous because they are based on the customer’s true habits and requirements.
Blue&MeTM MAP: a multi functional portable navigation system
As the next stage in the development of the Blue&MeTM system, the Alfa Romeo MiTo can be equipped with Blue&MeTM MAP, a multifunctional portable navigation system developed with Magneti Marelli, a leader in the supply of original equipment navigation systems.
With its distinctive original design and innovative car integration technology, Blue&MeTM MAP represents a new frontier in the markets of portable navigation systems and is also safe and easy to use due to its high level of in-car integration from an electrical/mechanical viewpoint and also from the viewpoint of connectivity.
This new architecture offers many benefits, allowing direct integration between the portable navigation system and the car via the Blue&MeTM system: data from the vehicle CAN line are used to improve the precision of navigation and voice messages are played through the on-board sound system. All this helps to guarantee much higher standards in terms of both comfort and safety. In addition to mapped satellite navigation, Blue&MeTM MAP also offers multimedia functions that can also be used in portable mode, such as the playing of music and tracks and display of films and images..
Another a specific feature of the device is its mechanical and electrical integration with the car, which means that no extra wiring is required or the use of improvised supports. Alfa Romeo has also carefully designed the integration and ergonomic positioning of the new device in the dashboard in order to ensure easy installation and removability in accordance with specific motoring standards.
In detail, the new portable navigation system uses wireless connectivity with the Blue&MeTM system to exchange information so that it can be used in complete safety with maximum comfort. The benefits include more accurate navigation than with conventional portable devices and also the possibility of navigating in tunnels or areas where GPS reception is difficult. It is also possible to manage all sound, radio CD, phone and navigation sources simultaneously. The system also offers all the functions of Blue&MeTM: hands free, USB port, steering wheel controls, voice recognition and SMS reader.