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Mito: Baby Alfa Romeo details revealed

Date: 20 June 2008

Alfa Romeo's Mito supermini looks set to go head-to-head with the all-conquering Mini when the new Italian baby goes on sale in the UK at the start of 2009.

Based on the platform used by the most recent Fiat Punto, the Alfa Mito will be available with a choice of three engines initially. A 78PS 1.4 petrol will start the range with a 120PS 1.6 diesel as the mid-point and a 155PS 1.4 turbo petrol completing the line-up.

Although UK specifications and prices have yet to be finalised for the three-door car, there are expected to be two trim levels offered with a further two option packs.

The car, which measures 4.06m long, 1.44m high and 1.72m wide, takes its styling from Alfa's 8C Competizione sports car.

Alfa is making bold claims about the car's safety. The Italian firm has said it expects to the Mito to achieve a five-star EuroNCAP rating. The Mito is also equipped with anti-skid control as standard which cannot be deactivated by the driver. This is also coupled to a system Alfa has called DNA, standing for the three settings for the car's safety and driving systems - Dynamic, Normal and All-weather.

In All-weather mode, designed for driving on snowy or wet roads, the anti-skid control cuts in earlier than in other modes. In Dynamic mode, the throttle response is sharpened.

Alfa claims the 120PS 1.6-litre diesel Mito is capable of 0-62mph in 9.9 seconds, while the 155PS 1.4 turbo petrol is comes in at 8.0secs.

All engine come with a six-speed manual gearbox as standard and Alfa is also understood be working on a clever DSG-style automatic box for the new Mito supermini.