Originally introduced in 2008, the MiTo is Alfa’s three-door hatchback supermini, so named as to link Milan and Turin, the two Italian cities where the vehicle’s respective styling and production centers are housed. In the seven years that the MiTo has been on the road, we’ve seen a variety of special editions for the sporty compact, each with its own take on style and performance.

Now, the European marque will offer a new version called the MiTo Racer, which is scheduled to make its world debut at the Geneva Motor Show this year. Alfa says the Racer is “targeting a more mature clientele that is interested in new tendencies,” which basically means it comes with numerous exterior style and interior equipment changes.

Will these new alterations entice buyers looking for an extra bit of performance, or will they just add up to a lot of hot air?

Continue reading to learn more about the 2015 Alfa Romeo MiTo Racer.

  • 2015 Alfa Romeo MiTo Racer
  • Year:
    2015
  • Make:
  • Model:
  • Engine:
    inline-4
  • Horsepower @ RPM:
    105 @ 5500
  • Torque @ RPM:
    106 @ 2000
  • Displacement:
    0.9 L
  • 0-60 time:
    11.4 sec.
  • Top Speed:
    115 mph
  • Price:
    17500 (Est.)
  • Price:
  • car segment:
  • body style:

Exterior

2015 Alfa Romeo MiTo Racer Exterior
- image 618585

From the off, the MiTo looks good. The front end is nicely sculpted, with the traditional reverse-pyramid Alfa grille and oval headlights that stretch back into the front fenders. Punctuating the lower air dam are twin fog lamps. From the side, things get even better, with a roofline that dips back into the rear hatch and gently curved windows that rise to meet it. The fenders have a bit of substance to them, and in the back, the round taillights keep the rear end looking tidy. 

When it comes to styling, Alfa Romeo is justly famous for putting some very pretty cars on the road. The Racer has abundant chromed elements, such as a satin-chrome finish for the door handles and light frames both up front and around back. The exhaust tip also receives a chrome finish. Complementing the well-defined rear end is a sport bumper and spoiler.

The collection of paint colors sees new additions, with a total of eight new shades to choose from, including a new white and slate grey. Wheel selection is now in 17-inch alloys, with a bronzed polished finish. The side mirrors receive a similar treatment. It’s a color ill-suited to many vehicles, but on the MiTo Racer, I think it looks fantastic.

Alfa Romeo will be bringing a Hawthorn White example to Geneva, complete with the race checkered-flag sticker adorning the roof.

Interior

2015 Alfa Romeo MiTo Racer Interior
- image 618579

Inside, things are equally nice. The seats, for example, are a pleasant mix between bolstered lateral support and comfortable plushness. The dash is agreeably laid out, with circular pods for the gauge cluster and air vents.

The MiTo racer adds brown eco-leather upholstery, which, once again, actually looks surprisingly good. There’s matching stitching, as well as Alfa Romeo branding across the headrests. This brown stitched leather is continued into the sporty, flat-bottomed steering wheel, gearshift lever, and hand brake. The steering wheel also has infotainment controls.

The brown-on-black theme is sustained in the foot wells, with further Alfa Romeo branding and matching stitching. Sport pedals keep the driver’s feet securely planted. Standard equipment includes manual temperature control, a UConnect infotainment system, a 5-inch touchscreen, Bluetooth interface, an auxiliary media input port, USB interface port, and voice command. Satellite navigation is available as an option.

Safety wise, the MiTo Racer comes with seven airbags and a tire-pressure monitoring system.

Drivetrain

2015 Alfa Romeo MiTo Racer Exterior
- image 618586

While the MiTo Racer looks fantastic, both inside and out, the drivetrain is where things go a bit wrong. You would expect Alfa Romeo to imbue this little front-engine, FWD hatchback with some extra zest when labeling it something so obviously performance-oriented. Unfortunately, that’s not the case, as the available drivetrains remain inexcusably unaltered.

While a variety of engine choices are available, none really live up to the name “Racer.” These include a naturally-aspirated, gasoline-powered 1.4-liter with 78 horsepower, a turbocharged, gasoline-powered TwinAir 0.9-liter with 105 horsepower, a turbo-diesel JTDM 1.3-liter with 85 horsepower, a turbo-diesel JTDM 1.6-liter with 120 horsepower, and a top-range, turbocharged, gasoline-powered MultiAir 1.4-liter mill with 140 horsepower.

Combining the highest-output engine with Alfa’s automatic twin-clutch six-speed gearbox, the fastest-of-the-bunch MiTo Racer still takes an “un-racer-like” 8.1 seconds to reach 62 mph from a standstill, hitting a top speed just under 130 mph. Fuel economy and emissions are fantastic though, with figures rated at 44 mpg and 124 g/km respectively.

Driver assists include an electronic stability control system, traction control, hill holder, and an electronic differential. Alfa Romeo plans on bringing the turbocharged 0.9-liter engine option to Geneva, which will accelerate to 62 mph in 11.4 seconds and reach a top speed of 114 mph.

Prices

2015 Alfa Romeo MiTo Racer Emblems and Logo
- image 618580

Alfa has yet to release any details on pricing as of this writing (2/24/15), but if I were to throw a number out there, I’d say the MiTo Racer will hit your bank account for a figure somewhere north of $25,000, depending on options.

Competition

Mini Cooper S

2014 Mini Cooper High Resolution Exterior
- image 541460

While it may be gaining girth with every passing year, the Cooper S is still more than adequate as a rival for the hatch from Italy. Featuring an exterior that makes schoolgirls squeal, the 2014 model gained 4.5 inches in length, 1.7 inches in width, and 0.3 inch in height over the outgoing model. That makes the cabin a slightly more comfortable place to be for larger folks, which complements the optional material choices. There’s seating for four, a large central infotainment control screen, and a variety of interior packages.

The top-range engine is a 2.0-liter inline-four cylinder with 192 horsepower between 4,700 and 6,000 rpm, and 206 pound-feet of torque between 1,250 rpm and 4,750 rpm. An overboost function bumps torque up to 221 pound-feet if you’re feeling frisky. The standard transmission driving the front wheels is a six-speed manual, while a six-speed automatic is available as an option. When properly motivated, the Cooper S can hit 60 mph in 6.5 seconds, with a top speed of 146 mph.

It may be a bit of a fashion statement, but when it comes to speed, the Cooper has the MiTo licked.

Fiat 500 Abarth

2015 Fiat 500 Abarth High Resolution Exterior
- image 547900

Anyone looking for Italian hot-hatch performance is advised to investigate the Fiat 500 Abarth. Not only does it look great, but it’s got the muscle to back its intentions. From the outside, this vehicle exudes compact performance, with large wheels fitted under the fenders, front and rear bumper designs that announce aerodynamic engagement, and racing stripes along the flanks. Inside, you’ll have access to a 7-inch color display screen, a reverse camera for Rear Park Assist, USB interface port, and Bluetooth connectivity.

Pushing the front wheels along, we find a red engine cover emblazoned by an Abarth scorpion, which covers 160 horsepower and 170 pound-feet of torque from the turbocharged, 1.4-liter MultiAir powerplant. That’s good enough for a 0-to-60 time of 6.9 seconds and a top speed of 129 mph. A five-speed manual comes standard, with a six-speed automatic equipped with Sport mode calibration as an option.

Conclusion

2015 Alfa Romeo MiTo Racer Interior
- image 618582

The Alfa Romeo MiTo Racer does a lot of things right. It looks fantastic, taking a unique color scheme and making it really work. The exterior enhancements are subtle (barring the checkered roof), and build on a style that is really quite a standout in this crowd. The interior is fantastic, featuring lots of upscale features, materials, and a layout that’s just right. On these two attributes alone, it’s a fantastic car.

But once again, we find the drivetrain department sorely lacking. Anything that aspires to be a “Racer” needs to have more punch than 140 horsepower and a 0-to-60 time that can’t even break into the seven-second range. Anyone looking for a hot hatchback with real sporting intent is spoiled for choice, and while this Alfa certainly can talk the talk, it just doesn’t seem to be able to walk the walk. And that’s a shame, given how well it does everything else.

The MiTo Racer will be available in European markets starting in the end of April.

  • Leave it
    • Way too slow to be labeled a “Racer”
    • Much better performance options out there

Press Release

With its sporting style and roadworthiness, which has made it a recognised point of reference in its category, the new MiTo Racer version makes its debut in Geneva this year targeting a more mature clientele that is interested in new tendencies, as suggested by the numerous chromed stylistic elements and the brown eco-leather upholstery for a vintage look which indicates a sophisticated and contemporary style.

2015 Alfa Romeo MiTo Racer Exterior
- image 618583

Available on the main European markets from the end of April, the new MiTo Racer, displayed at the exhibition, sports a new white scheme - with seven more to choose from among which slate grey - and an elegant polished finishing for the 17" alloy wheels and wing-mirrors. The new special series also features a satin-chrome finish for the door-handles and the front and rear light frames, a rear sport bumper, spoiler and chromed exhaust-pipe.

Even greater attention has been given to the interior, where the dark sporting character is enhanced by all-new grey textile seats with brown eco-leather for a vintage effect, matching stitching, and the Alfa Romeo words on the front headrests. Leather cladding with brown stitching also features on the sports steering wheel with radio controls, the gear-stick cover, and the hand-brake.

A further classical touch may be seen in the carpets with Alfa Romeo words and brown stitching, and the black Street dashboard. The standard kit includes manual temperature control and UConnect infotainment system with 5" touchscreen with Bluetooth interface, Aux-in port, USB port and voice commands (SatNav upon request).

2015 Alfa Romeo MiTo Racer Exterior
- image 618584

Safety in the MiTo Racer offers as standard 7 airbags, the Alfa DNA (with Q2 and DST electronic differential), the ESC system (including ASR and Hill Holder), fog lights and tyre pressure sensor.

The new version offers a wide range of engines to choose from, all of which are efficient, reliable, high-performing, and eco-friendly, for instance the multi-award-winning petrol 0.9 Turbo TwinAir 105 HP. For a higher performance, there is the turbo petrol 1.4 MultiAir 140 HP with automatic Alfa TCT that reaches a top speed of 209 km/h, 0-100 Km/h acceleration in 8.1 seconds, 5.4 l/100Km consumption, and 124 g/km of CO2 (combined cycle).

The range also includes the turbo diesel 1.3 JTDM 85 HP and 1.6 JTDM 120 HP, both second-generation Multijet engines, and the 1.4 GPL Turbo 120 HP, an exciting blend of power and technology that combines high-level performance with eco-friendliness and modest running costs.

Finally, the MiTo Racer range includes the petrol-driven 1.4 78 HP engine, which, with the turbo-diesel 1.3 JTDM 85 HP, makes it possible even for new drivers to enjoy an Alfa Romeo.

2015 Alfa Romeo MiTo Racer Exterior
- image 618585

The example exhibited in Geneva sports the original "racer" sticker on the roof contrasting with the Hawthorn White finish. The vehicle is mounted with a petrol 0.9 Turbo TwinAir 105 HP engine with a sparkling personality - 105 HP (77 kW) at 5,500 revs/min and top torque of 145 Nm at 2,000 revs/min - and low consumption rates and CO2 emissions. And none of this detracts from its performance: top speed of 184 km/h and 0-100 km/h acceleration in 11.4 seconds.

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