MiTo style for Milano
The 147 replacement is picking up the latest Alfa design language, writes NEIL McDONALD
THE winds of change are sweeping through the Alfa Romeo design studios. The arrival of the stylish MiTo and 8C Competizione started the ball rolling and now Alfa is close to finishing its 147 replacement, which is expected to borrow heavily from its stylish relatives.
The MiTo’s design has been a hit in Europe and Alfa is keen to capitalise on that.
Under the heavy black cladding in our pictures, the new 147, which could be known as the 149 or Milano, has received the MiTo and 8C Competizione treatment.
Some MiTo touches, such as the headlights, grille and round LED taillights, will appear on the Milano production car when it’s launched early next year.
But despite the heavily disguised right rear door, it appears it may also carry over the 147’s high-set rear door handles.
The five-door prototype was caught testing at the challenging Nurburgring, where most carmakers go to finesse ride and handling.
With an overall length of 4300mm, the hatch has grown longer and wider but is lower and close in size to the previous 156.
The Milano is expected to be available as a five-door hatch initially, but a three-door and performance models are tipped to follow.
Petrol power is expected to come from a range of 1.4 and 1.7-litre turbocharged engines, delivering 90kW to 120kW, with a high-performance 198kW V6 expected for the range-topping GTA.
Alfa’s 1.9-litre turbodiesel is expected to be available, too.
As with the MiTo, the 149 will use a six-speed manual, with an automatic as an option for some engines.
Prices are expected to be close to the current car, starting about $35,000 and rising to more than $40,000 for the GTA. The Volkswagen Golf competitor will be based on the same platform as the Fiat Bravo, which is called the Ritmo here. Alfa is known to be toying with the Milano name as the company moves away from numeric badges. Details of Alfa’s name changes were outlined in the Chrysler restructuring plan. It suggested that the 147 could be called the Milano and the 159 the Guilia.